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Mother continues to seek missing son

Last Update 12.08.2011

A mother is continuing her quest to locate the body of her son seven years after she alleges he died while in gendarmerie custody in İğneada, close to the Bulgarian border.

Tolga Ceylan’s mother says she has been looking for her son for seven years.

“They covered up the truths about my son, and they continue to cover them up. They are collaborating with the murderers,” said Kadriye Ceylan, who has been holding regular sit-ins in Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square since 2004 to demand answers in the disappearance of her son, Tolga Baykal Ceylan.

Tolga Ceylan, 24, went to the Black Sea town in August 2004, but appeared to go missing Aug. 10. Kadriye Ceylan said she first applied to the gendarmerie on Aug. 14, 2004, to locate her son; a later parliamentary commission study, however, said the gendarmerie report said the woman only came to them with news of her son’s disappearance on Aug. 16. Kadriye Ceylan also accused the commission of neglecting to interview other witnesses with knowledge of the circumstances of her son’s disappearance.

“They tried to shut me up with a lot of false information... A month after my son’s disappearance, I received a phone call from the İğneada Gendarmerie Garrison. On the phone, they said they had found my son’s corpse in [the provincial center of] Kırklareli,” she said.

Kadriye Ceylan was then shown a dead body for purposes of identification, but she said she realized that the corpse had dental implants; even though the body was in unrecognizable shape, Kadriye Ceylan said this factor allowed her to determine that the man was not her son, according to daily BirGün.

The local Demirköy Prosecutor’s Office then called her roughly a month and a half later to inform her that her son had been identified on television while displaying a banner at an election program in the United States. Kadriye Ceylan said she watched the scenes over and over, but added that the figure who appeared on TV was too blurry.

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