İbrahim Halil Göğüş, an independent candidate for June 7 general elections, went missing on Saturday in southeastern Turkey, officials said.
Göğüş, 44, a Turkish tourist guide in Japan, was nominated for an independent seat from the province of Şanlıurfa in the 550-seat Turkish Grand National Assembly for the upcoming elections. His family reported he was missing after he went to the province's Karaköprü district on Saturday for an election campaign. Şanlıurfa Governor İzzettin Küçük told Anadolu Agency that six people have been detained in connection with Göğüş's disappearance. The governor said Göğüş was not a resident of Şanlıurfa and was originally from Adıyaman, a neighboring province. "His family currently resides in İzmir and we are notified that he went missing after wrapping up a campaign (in Karaköprü). He is a candidate with little connection with Şanlıurfa. We believe he became a candidate with the guidance of some people," he said.
The candidate, a father of two, was reportedly with his adviser Mehmet D., and Turkish media reported the adviser was among those detained.
Göğüş dropped out of university and travelled to Japan in 1995 where he studied Japanese and became a tourist guide, guiding Japanese tourists travelling to Turkey. He made the headlines in Turkey when a Japanese couple he invited to his home town decided to a build a school there for Turkish students.
Şanlıurfa is located in a region where kidnappings and threats by the terrorist organization PKK have been ramped up ahead of the general elections. The province, however, has not been the scene of any election-related violence.