Report: Turkish soccer player confesses to smothering son with pillow in hospital

Jack Baer
·2-min read
In this undated but recent photograph, footballer Cevher Toktas, 32, is seen prior to a soccer match in the northwestern province of Bursa, Turkey. Turkish authorities have arrested a former top-tier soccer player who confessed to killing his 5-year-old son while the boy was being treated in hospital on suspicion of a COVID-19 infection. Cevher Toktas handed himself in to police and confessed to having smothered his son with a pillow on Monday, May 4 2020. (DHA via AP)
Cevher Toktas reportedly turned himself in 11 days after his child's death. (DHA via AP)

Cevher Toktas, a Turkish soccer player who once played in his country’s top-flight league, confessed to killing his 5-year-old son while he was being treated in the hospital, according to Turkish state media via the Associated Press.

Toktas reportedly handed himself over to police and confessed to the crime, saying he smothered his son with a pillow on May 4 after a nervous breakdown because he did not love the child.

According to an account of the confession from Turkish media, the 32-year-old said he pushed on the boy’s head with a pillow for 15 minutes, then called for a doctor. Medical staff reportedly took the boy to intensive care unit and pronounced him dead less than two hours later.

Toktas’ son Kasim was reportedly admitted to the hotel with a cough and fever, then was suspected by doctos to have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The boy was placed in isolation with his father. His test for the virus later came back negative.

The death was reportedly not believed to be suspicious. Kasim’s body has since been exhumed for an autopsy.

Per state media, Toktas shared a photo of the child’s grave via social media before feeling remorse and turning himself in 11 days after the death. No trial date has yet been set.

Before his arrest, Toktas had been playing for a Turkish amateur league. The apex of his career would have come between 2007 and 2009, when he played for Hacettepe during the team’s brief stay in Turkey’s top-tier Super League.

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