Justice for Dina, the murdered Gabonese student: an investigation that reveals racial tensions in Turkey

03 April 2023 / Interviews

A Gabonese student, Jeannah Danys Dinabongho Ibouanga (Dina), was found dead in a stream near Karabük University in Turkey, where she was studying mechanical engineering. Aged only 18, her death aroused great emotion among the African students welcomed in increasing numbers in the country.

A suspicious death of student Dina

Dina, a Gabonese student, was found dead in suspicious circumstances in Turkey.

According to initial findings, the young woman died of “drowning” and no injuries or traces of sexual violence were spotted. However, the exact cause of his death should be clarified following an autopsy, the report of which is expected in the coming days, according to the private Turkish channel NTV.

The Gabonese Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its deep sadness and great concern following the assassination of their compatriot.

He stated :

“dismay and deep concern (after) the assassination of our compatriot”

The Embassy of Gabon à Ankara confirmed the death of the young woman without further details but promising that she will communicate later. The Gabonese representation in Turkey has been instructed to request an autopsy and the opening of a judicial investigation into this tragedy.

Karabük University published a message of condolences on its website, in Turkish and French, assuring that the young woman was “much loved by her friends and teachers”. African students from his university demonstrated inside the establishment, holding up portraits of the victim and using the hashtag #JusticeforDina on social networks.

Racism is a recurring problem for African students in Turkey, who have often denounced police violence and discrimination. Several associations have also called for a peaceful demonstration to denounce the racist violence suffered by African students in Turkey.

The Gabonese embassy in Ankara called on the Turkish authorities to shed light on this matter so that justice can be done. The thousands of Internet users who are demanding justice on social networks hope that the investigation will establish the truth about the circumstances of the death of Jeannah Danys Dinabongho Ibouanga and that those responsible will be brought to justice.

Relations between Turkey and Africa

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan deploys intense diplomatic and economic activity in Africa, which explains why Turkey currently welcomes more than 61 students from the African continent, compared to 000 in 40. Turkey sees education as a main axis of cooperation with Africa, and most students benefit from scholarships.

He visited several countries on the continent, and the country has multiplied economic cooperation agreements, particularly in the areas of construction, energy, agriculture and infrastructure. Ankara is also seeking to strengthen its military presence in Africa by opening military bases in certain countries, notably in Somalia.

It is important to highlight that diplomatic and economic relations between Turkey and Africa have experienced significant growth in recent years. African countries have been receptive to investment and aid from Turkey, which has worked to strengthen its ties with the continent. Although the murder of the Gabonese girl is a tragic incident, it should not harm relations between Turkey and Africa if steps are taken to ensure that justice is served and such incidents do not happen again .