A fundraising campaign has been launched for fifteen Turkish asylum seekers who suffer from a series of diseases, including brain tumor and appendix cancer.
Thousands of people have fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government against sympathizers of the Gülen group in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The government accuses the group of masterminding the coup, while the group denies any involvement.
More than 150,000 people have been detained, and some 80,000 people from all walks of life have been put in pre-trial detention since the failed putsch.
Advocates of Silenced Turkey (AST), a US-based human rights organization, released a statement regarding the fundraising campaign, calling on the people around the world to extend a helping hand to the patients living in refugee camps in Greece. According to the statement, among the purge-victim patients are a patient with brain tumor, one 52% disabled woman, and a 4-year-old with a cyst in his liver. The AST statement goes as follows:
“We have 15 brothers and sisters in Greece who are sick and urgently in need of our help.
1. Sinem and Meryem are 8 years old and are two of three triplets. They have cerebral palsy and have been living in Athens for 8 months. They have a chance of being able to walk if they have surgery before they turn 10. Along with the surgery, they will also need extensive physical therapy. (Need:14,000 €)
2. Melek is 52% disabled and was born with one kidney. She also has hypertension, diabetes and Familial Mediterranean fever. She has undergone 9 surgeries so far due to her ailments. Melek is living with her son in Athens after a 10-month prison period. Her husband has been in prison for 3.5 years. (Need: 5,000 €)
3. Mehmet: He was born premature at 28 weeks, stayed in the intensive care unit for a long time and went to prison with his mother when he was only 6 months old. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He received physical therapy for a long time in Turkey. Mehmet, who has been living in Athens with his family for about a year, had to undergo surgery on his feet again due to his ailments. But his treatment is not over yet. He urgently needs physical therapy and, if necessary, more surgery. (Need: Between 9,000 and 16,000€)
4. Meryem: She has a tumor in her brain and also suffers from vertigo and high blood pressure. Her husband has been in prison as a political prisoner for a long time. Meryem, who had to leave her 2 children in Turkey and move to Greece with her four-year-old daughter, has been living in Athens for about 10 months. She has to start treatment as soon as possible due her brain tumor. (Need: Between 4,000 and 6,000€)
5. Serhat: At age 4, Serhat was diagnosed with having a cyst in his liver after experiencing severe pain. His father has been in prison for 2.5 years. His mother was released from prison for his surgery. Serhat left Turkey along with his mother and 2 siblings. He has been living in Athens for nearly a year and needs urgent treatment to regain his health. (Need: Between 3,000 and 6,000€
6. Isa, 30, learned that he had appendix cancer in prison and was released after a year even though his case is still in court. Isa, who has been living in Athens for 8 months, urgently needs treatment. (Need: 2,000 €)
7. Yasemin: 51-year-old Yasemin, who was born with congenital hip dislocation, is 47% disabled. She had 8 surgeries on her legs. However, due to the fact that her left leg was 10 cm too short, she has had to undergo 5 additional surgeries and use prosthetics. She has been living in Athens for 17 month. She needs special medical shoes and physiotherapy in order to be able to walk better (Need: 2,500 €)
8. Mehmet: 24-year-old Mehmet fell ill after he was released from prison. Mehmet, who has been in Athens for 9 months, urgently needs a liver transplant. In addition, he is experiencing bleeding in his esophagus, which can be fatal. there is a risk of death when there is bleeding in varices in the esophagus (Need: Between 5,000 and 8,000€)
9. Taha: Taha is an infant who was , diagnosed with spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and hip dislocation while he was still in his mothers womb. Taha, who was born with a growth on his back, has had 2 operations which have left him being unable to feel his feet. He needs regular follow-up treatments from a neurologist, a urologist a nephrologist and an orthopedist, specialized medical equipment as well as extensive physical therapy. (Need between 5,000 and 8,000€)
10. Fatma: Fatma was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor in her brain during her 17-month stay in prison. She has been living alone in Athens for 7 months and waiting for urgent treatment. Without treatment, Fatma is at risk of developing bowel cancer and going blind. (Need:5,000€)
11. Halit: Halit suffered a heart attack due to the distress and pain he was experiencing in Erdogan’s Turkey. He had to undergo heart surgery due to the fact that 97% of his heart vessels were closed. One hour after he arrived home from the hospital, the police came and arrested him along with his wife. He had to leave his wife and children in Turkey and move to Greece and seek asylum and has been living in Athens for about 1 year. He needs to take his medication to continue his treatment (Need: 5,000€)
12. Gül: After cancer treatment, Gül needs to have liver surgery urgently. She has been away from her family for 4 years and has been living in Athens for about 2. (Need: Between 10,000 and 20,000€)
13. Nezaket: 12-year-old Nezaket’s disease was diagnosed while she was in her mother’s womb. She cannot walk from birth due to spinal cord dilation, scoliosis and foot deformity. After her father was imprisoned for a year, she had to move to Greece with her family in her wheelchair. Nezaket is going to have surgery and she urgently needs a new wheelchair, medical supplies and intensive physical therapy. (Need: 12.000€)
14. Neşe, whose husband has been in prison for about 5 years, has been living in Athens with her children for 8 months. Neşe suddenly fell ill while in Athens was subsequently diagnosed with an enlarged heart muscle and now needs to undergo immediate treatment. (need: 4,000 €)
15. Lale : “Like many people, we are victims of the Erdogan regime as a family. My husband has been in prison for 3 years while I was imprisoned in for 1 year. The Court of Appeals then overturned the verdict but I was put on trial again. After my trial started, a new file was opened because there were new complaints about me. We felt we had no choice but to go abroad. Our first attempt was unsuccessful all our money and papers seized. I hid in a place on the Turkish side with my three children until the evening. Then we hid in a house for a while. Due to the fact that all of our money was seized, I tried to go to Greece again with the support of my relatives since I didn’t have the finances to do it on my own. Thankfully we entered successfully and are now in Greece. My children and I are trying to get through the immigration and we want to move to another country. (Need: 5.000 €)
Our 15 seriously ill brothers and sisters in Greece need your support urgently so that they can receive the treatment that their lives depend upon as soon as possible. Please help them.