A Turkish footballer Cevher Toktas has been arrested after allegedly confessing that he smothered his five-year-old son to death with a pillow because he “didn’t love him”.
Toktas, 32, who played in Turkey’s Super Lig between 2007 and 2009, was arrested earlier this month after his five-year-old son, Kasim, died at Dortcelik Children’s Hospital in the city of Bursa.
According to Turkish media, Toktas took his son to hospital on April 23 because he was suffering from breathing difficulties and a high fever – two symptoms of coronavirus, which has infected over 140,000 in Turkey so far.
Toktas and his son were placed into quarantine together by doctors but later that day he reportedly informed staff that Kasim was struggling to breathe. The boy was taken to intensive care but died shortly afterwards. The hospital staff ruled Kasim’s death as natural and coronavirus was recorded as the cause of death.
However, 11 days after the boy’s death, Toktas reportedly travelled to a local police station to hand himself in and admit that he had killed his son.
The 32-year-old, who most recently played for Bursa Yildirim Spor, allegedly told officers that he took the opportunity to smother his son with a pillow after hospital staff left them alone.
Turkish media have reported that his statement read:
“I pressed a pillow on my son who was lying on his back. For 15 minutes, I pressed down on the pillow without lifting it up. My son was struggling during that time. After he stopped moving, I lifted the pillow. Then I yelled for doctors to help to draw any suspicions away from me.”
Toktas is also said to have told cops that the reason he killed Kasim was because he “didn’t love him” and hadn’t “since he was born”.
Cevher Toktas reportedly insisted that he doesn’t have any ‘mental issues’. He will allegedly be tried for “murdering a close relative” and faces a life sentence if found guilty. Kasim was buried in a makeshift grave shortly after his death but authorities now want his body exhumed in order for an autopsy to take place as part of the ongoing investigation.