A 16-year-old has hanged himself on the metal fence of a football pitch in northwestern Turkey, and his family is blaming the suicide on the notorious "Blue Whale" online challenge.
Ahmet P. and his friend Batuhan K. left Batuhan's home Monday night and as security camera footage showed, were carrying a stool and rope. They walked to a nearby football pitch with a high metal fence. Ahmet then fastened the rope to the fences and hanged himself, to the shock of Batuhan. Batuhan had a nervous breakdown and is currently hospitalized. Police launched an investigation into the suicide and examined the computer that belongs to Batuhan over allegations that the Blue Whale game drove his friend to suicide.
The teen's elder brother, Mehmet, said Ahmet had no computer at home and sometimes had sleepovers at his friend's home. "They were playing Blue Whale well into the late hours. We found out that the game, in later levels, told users to harm themselves," he said. The teenager's uncle said Ahmet, a high school dropout, met other friends and "bid farewell" the day he killed himself. "They were in front the computer for long hours and did not allow Batuhan's parents into the room. This is a murder and [I hope] the police treat it as such. We will find out the truth once Batuhan recovers," he said.
The Blue Whale game, also known as the Blue Whale Challenge, consists of 50 horror missions such as watching a horror movie for a certain period of time, drawing whales on your arms and legs, scratching your arms and legs, listening to very loud music, seeing no one for a certain period of time, climbing to high places, being sick and finally, committing suicide. These tasks are given to the player by an unknown "master," who checks in regularly on whether the players are obeying the rules. This process of monitoring is carried out with webcams, according to recent reports in local and international media. The game came under the spotlight in Turkey after a 24-year-old university student hanged himself after playing the game last year. A string of teenage suicides have been blamed on the game, though it is not confirmed by the authorities yet. Police in the northern city of Bolu also investigated the hanging suicide of a 19-year-old earlier this week for links to the game, local media reported.