A GRIEVING mum has made an emotional plea to "protect our children" after her 13-year-old son died of a suspected drug overdose.
Mehmet Altun, 13, was rushed to hospital after he was found "extremely unwell" on Columbia Road, Dorset, on August 19.
A 14-year-old boy from Bournemouth was later arrested on suspicion of supplying a controlled class A drug in the wake of the schoolboy's death and has been released under investigation.
A post-mortem has not yet been carried out, but police said they believe the teen died of a drugs overdose.
Now his heartbroken mother, Aynur Altun, has paid tribute to her late son as she grapples with his loss while warning other parents to check on their kids.
"Mehmet was always a pure soul.
"Anyone that knew him personally, whether that may be family or friend, would say that Mehmet would never hurt a living being," she told the Bournemouth Echo.
"He was scared of dogs and cats and would always be by my side, at home or outside."
She told how her only son had dreams of becoming a barber once he had left his school in Poole.
Grief-stricken Aynur said she lost Mehmet due to an "ongoing issue of drug and gang culture" amongst youngsters.
"As a mother, I am reaching out to every parent to say that we must protect our children," she said.
"Social media is so dangerous and action must be taken to ensure that the safety of our children is our number one priority. Police can only take the appropriate measures so much.
"As parents, it is our duty to protect our children. Do not stay quiet when you witness things outside; if you see a young person that appears to be uncomfortable or worried, just approach and ask them."
Tragic Mehmet will be remembered at a peaceful protest organised by his family in Bournemouth this weekend to shine a light on the issues of drugs.
I have lost my only son, I will never be able to see him finish school, move out, have his own children, build his career.
The demonstration is due to begin at Pier Approach on Saturday at 12pm and will continue through the Lower Gardens, ending in the Square.
"People need to understand that all children are extremely vulnerable. No matter how you raise a child, whether you spoil them with love or have a strict relationship, children are easily impressionable by outsiders," Aynur added.
"They think that they are doing their family a favour by not being honest or open about the things they get up to, the people they associate with, and the areas they hang around in.
"I plead to all young people reading this, especially teenagers, to keep your family close. Do not distance yourself from them, your family are the only ones that will ever be able to protect you.
"Please do not seek fake happiness or satisfaction by trying to get access to drugs or being involved in dangerous behaviours. It will never be worth it.
"You may think you have it under control but no matter how careful you think you are, this culture is not the answer or solution to any of your problems. Seek support from your family, they are the only ones to be right next to you.
"I have lost my only son, I will never be able to see him finish school, move out, have his own children, build his career.
"Let this be a warning, a sign, a reminder, to keep your loved ones closer than ever before. I would never wish this upon anyone."
Dorset Police are probing Mehmet's last moments and have appealed to anyone who might have seen him on his bike yesterday afternoon.
Detective Inspector Neil Third, of Dorset Police, said: “This is a very tragic incident with such a young life being lost and my thoughts go out to Mehmet’s family and friends.
"Officers are making enquiries into the circumstances of Mehmet’s death. A post-mortem examination has not yet taken place, but we currently suspect that he died of a drugs overdose.
"We believe that Mehmet went out with his bike for a while between approximately 12.10pm and 1.45pm. The bike is described as an orange/red mountain bike with two different types of wheels.
"I am hoping that somebody saw him during that time and can help us establish where he went and whether he met up with anyone.
"Anyone with information that might help our investigation is urged to contact us."
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