Veysel Tıkaş, a 54-year-old religious culture and moral knowledge teacher, has been in prison since September 2016 over links to the Gulen group, which the government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt in 2016. The group denies any involvement.

Tıkaş has reportedly had two stent surgeries during his time in prison and is in possession of a medical report showing him unfit to remain in prison.

According to the Bold news report, he also suffers from chronic kidney disease.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen group since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members.

Erdoğan intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement deny involvement in the abortive putsch.