Date: 12 Apr 2017
Turgay Baltepe was found dead in the Birmingham Canal by a dog walker on 12 April 2017.
He was found floating face down in the Birmingham Canal Line, also known as the Birmingham Canal Navigations Soho Loop by the Spring Hill Bridge in Winson Green.
An open verdict was returned.
It was first thought that he might have committed suicide because the Home Office had decided to refuse his application to stay in the United Kingdom and ordered him to leave. It was heard that he had threatened to kill himself if his application for asylum was refused. At his assessment interview he had said that he wasn’t being persecuted in Turkey but just wanted to live in Britain 'for a better life'.
However, it was later determined that he had not known of that decision. It was heard that although his application had been refused, because he had previously threatened to kill himself if it was, that it was decided to carry out a mental health assessment by his doctor first before he was informed, but the doctor referral never happened and he was never told about his status as an illegal immigrant.
Turgay Baltepe was from Turkey and had entered the United Kingdom in May 2016 on a visitor's visa but had immediately claimed asylum. He had initially been held at Heathrow’s detention centre at Harmondsworth while his application was assessed but was later transferred to hostels in Birmingham after which he was moved to permanent accommodation in Tipton in September 2016.
His post mortem showed that he had no drink or drugs in his system and an open verdict was returned at his inquest with the Coroner saying 'We simply don’t know what happened'.