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Second Collective Suicide in Turkey in a Week Highlights Crisis

Economy Politics

Second Collective Suicide in Turkey in a Week Highlights Crisis

An elderly woman sells packets of tissues on the roadside in Istanbul, Turkey. Photographer: Kostas Tsironis/Bloomberg

A family of four was found dead in southern Turkey in what appears to be the second collective suicide in a week amid growing economic hardship.

Police officers discovered the bodies of a man, his wife and two children in their home in Antalya, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Saturday. The father left a note, saying he had been jobless for the past nine months and couldn’t go on, NTV reported on its website. The deaths may have been due to cyanide poisoning, the Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

The incident appears to be similar to a Nov. 5 collective suicide in Istanbul, when four adult siblings were found dead in their homes due to cyanide poisoning. The Anadolu Agency on Nov. 8 cited a friend of the deceased as saying that they were suffering from severe economic hardship.

The suicides follow more than a year of economic tumult amid a slide in the lira. Many companies have struggled to repay debt, while inflation and unemployment have soared. The economy is set to contract 0.5% this year according to a Bloomberg survey of economists, which would be the first annual contraction in a decade.

“It’s well-established that suicides increase during economic crisis periods,” Ilker Kucukparlak, a psychiatrist in Istanbul, said by phone.

The poverty threshold for a four-person household stands at 6,705 liras ($1,162) per month, according to a monthly survey by the Turk-Is labor confederation. That’s more than three times the monthly minimum wage of 2,020 liras. The official unemployment rate stands at 13.9%, corresponding to 4.6 million jobless in the nation of 82 million.

“I apologize from everyone, but there’s nothing else to do. We are ending our lives,” the father’s suicide note in Antalya read, NTV reported.

Source: Bloomberg


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