A former Turkish top-flight footballer has admitted murdering his five-year-old son, 11 days after it was officially ruled that the child had died of natural causes.
Former Super Lig player Cevher Toktas, 33, took his son Kasim to hospital on April 23 with a cough and a high fever, and both were quarantined as they were showing the usual signs of coronavirus.
Later in the day, Toktas called doctors into the boy's room saying he was having trouble breathing. The child was rushed to intensive care, but died. It was ruled he had passed away as a result of Covid-19 and he was buried, however, Toktas has now admitted he suffocated his own child to death with a pillow.
Reports in Turkey said Toktas had handed himself in to Carsi Police Station, and gave a statement in which he said he had never loved his son and had killed him in hospital.
An official statement by Toktas, provided by the Bursa Office of the Prosecutor, 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.
“I never loved my younger son after he was born. I don’t know why I don’t love him. The sole reason why I killed him that day is because I didn’t like him. I don’t have any mental issues."
Toktas, who said he had handed himself in after later feeling remorseful for his actions, has been arrested and is awaiting trial, while his son's body has been exhumed for a new autopsy.
Days before admitting to murdering his son, Toktas had posted a picture of Kasim's grave on his Facebook page, with the caption: "Don't depend on the world."
Toktas, a centre-back, had been playing for Bursa Yildirimspor in the Turkish Regional Amateur League, the fifth tier of football in the country.
He previously played for a number of clubs in Turkey, and had a season in the Super Lig - the national top flight - in 2008-09 with Hacettepe SK.