Gene mutation may be behind mysterious sibling deaths in eastern Turkey
ERZURUM - Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoA gene mutation has been detected in samples taken from a five-month-old baby girl of a family who saw three of their children die mysteriously in four months in the northeastern province of Kars, with several doctors saying this sort of mutation could lead to partial hearth enlargement, and thus immediate death.
Samples taken from Gözde Güler, Zeynep and Hacı Güler’s five-month-old toddler who died on May 21, were sent to a laboratory in Europe, with their test results showing a gene mutation in her heart cells, one which could cause immediate death as it widened sections of the heart, said Ebru Marzioğlu Özdemir, a doctor from the medical genetics department of the training and research hospital in the eastern province of Erzurum.
Özdemir said she thought the reason the Güler family’s children died could be the genetic mutation detected in Gözde Güler’s heart.
The family living in Tomarlı village in Kars’ Arpaçay district has seen three of its children die this year. Three-and-a-half-year-old Aybüke Güler died on Feb. 21, 2015, five-year-old son Enes Güler died on April 5, 2015, and Gözde Güler died on May 21, 2015. So far the cause of their deaths has been an indeterminate mystery.
The Arpaçay Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into the mysterious deaths, and the Güler family, in an effort to keep their only remaining child, seven-year-old child Irmak, alive, put in an application with the Hacettepe University Medical School Hospital in the capital Ankara with the support of the Kars Governor’s Office and the Arpaçay District Governor’s Office.
Doctors have been working to determine what caused three of the Güler family’s children to die in a space of four months, while mother Zeynep Güler, 25, and father Hacı Güler, 35, fear for young Irmak Güler’s life.
The Erzurum Forensic Institute conducted medical examinations of the bodies and discovered nothing but a lung infection in Enes Güler’s body, the child’s father said before the latest details were released.
“The Arpaçay Prosecutor’s Office called me and said that a lung infection had been found during Enes’ autopsy. I don’t believe that I lost my son because of a lung infection. I want the examinations to be done in Istanbul. The true reason of their death should be revealed,” he said.
“I have lost three of my children. My only hope is Irmak. I demand help from authorities. An infection could not have taken Enes,” said Zeynep Güler.