Officials from the Culture and Tourism Ministry launched an investigation into a suspicious suicide after a female archaeologist left behind a puzzling note before jumping to her death.
Working at the Zeugma Museum in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, archaeologist Merve K. left a note that read, "I'm innocent, I didn't do it. There are cameras everywhere, you'll see it when you watch it," before jumping off a window in her brother's house Monday.
Speaking to the press, Merve's family claimed she became severely distressed after she realized her superiors were trying to embezzle from the museum by forcing her to take custodianship of several artifacts that were missing.
The family alleged that Merve was subjected to mobbing after she ran away instead of taking the custodianship of the unaccounted artifacts.
With Merve's cryptic final note and the family's allegations, the ministry decided to send inspectors to locate the missing items, which they failed to do. With inspectors confirming the artifacts were missing, the ministry Friday said an official investigation was launched into Merve's death and the missing items.
Speaking about the incident, Turkey's Archaeologists Association President İlkay İvgin said the embezzlement scheme allegedly used by Merve's superiors was a result of predated laws that need to be updated.
"The regulations need to be urgently updated to make them more in line with modern times. Artifacts at museums are placed under the custodianship of archeologists as if they were a desk or a computer. Think about it, a Hittite-era tablet can be placed under my custodianship or you can have an Alexander-era sarcophagus. It's a tragicomic situation," İvgin said to Demirören News Agency.
İvgin said Merve would not have the legal option to reject taking custodianship, hence why she might have decided to run away to her brother's house before killing herself.