ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish private security guard named Ibrahim Layık, working at one of Turkey’s main airports, committed suicide on Monday evening, claiming he was being discriminated against.
Layık committed suicide by jumping off the departures floor of the new International Airport in Istanbul, landing on the arrivals level.
He suffered severe injuries from his fall and airport medical teams were unable to save him.
Before committing suicide, the Kurdish man shared an impassioned post on Instagram, suggesting that he was being discriminated against for being a Kurd in Turkey.
“We have always been excluded for being Kurdish, perhaps with this act of mine, things will change. Happy is the person who calls themselves a Kurd and a Turk,” he said.
Ibrahim Layık was working for the private security company IGA.
Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a member of parliament for the pro-Kurdish opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), and a well-known human rights activist, suggested Layık committed suicide after proposing to a woman he was in love with and who rejected him, allegedly saying “I would never date a Kurd.”
Turkish Daily Birgun reported that the police had launched an investigation into Ibrahim Layık’s suicide.
According to the UK’s government Home Office report published in September 2018, there is still discrimination against Kurds in Turkey, including in the public sector.
Kurds living in cities in western Turkey also at times feel fearful about disclosing their Kurdish identity or speaking Kurdish in public.
Nevertheless, it noted a large majority of non-politically active Kurds are able to live without discrimination in the cities of western Turkey.
Editing by Nadia Riva