Ankara: The Turkish authorities have arrested a former top football player who admitted to killing his 5-year-old son when the boy was treated in the hospital on suspicion of infection with COVID-19.
According to a state-run Anadolu agency, Cevher Toktas, 32, was handed over to the police and admitted to suffocating his son Kasim with a pillow on May 4.
The boy’s death was not initially considered suspicious, although his COVID-19 test was negative. Anadolu reported that his body has been autopsied as part of the investigation.
HaberTurk TV reported that Toktas, who is currently playing with the amateur league team Bursa Yildirimspor, told the police that he tried to suffocate his son because he did not love him, and after 11 days he confessed himself to the police because he felt regret.
The boy was admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Bursa Province in Northwest Province on April 23 due to cough and high fever. It was a Turkish official holiday to celebrate the child and was isolated with his father.
Toktas said that shortly thereafter, he suffocated the boy and called for help, saying that Qasim had become worse. The 5-year-old child was taken to the intensive care unit of the hospital, where he died two hours later.
No trial date has been set.
Between 2007 and 2009, Toktas played for the Hacettepe football team, who briefly participated in the Turkish Premier League.