Ali Osman Karahan, an 86-year-old Turkish man with walking and speaking difficulties has been kept in an Isparta prison for almost 12 months over alleged links to Turkey’s Gülen group, which Turkish authorities accuse of being behind a failed coup attempt in July of last year.
A video footage, posted by Karahan’s grandson on Twitter, shows the moment a police officer in plain clothes walks Karahan into a building where he will be testifying before a judge.
Karahan is accused of “being a member of the Gülen group.”
According to the grandson’s tweets, Karahan was arrested by an Isparta court after the failed coup and was sent to a prison in Isparta’s Yalvaç district.
Karahan has advanced-stage prostate cancer and has only one kidney.
Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.
The movement denies any involvement. However, the Turkish gov’t initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention.
A total of 7,316 academics were dismissed, and 4,070 judges and prosecutors were purged over alleged coup involvement or terrorist links.