20-year-old common soldier
Ahmet Özdemir is a 20-year-old Turkish citizen. He was sentenced by the İstanbul 26th High Criminal Court to 14 aggravated life sentences for “attempting to overthrow the Turkish government. Özdemir was fulfilling his mandatory military service and joined the army five days before the coup attempt. He was given a total of 2,420 years in prison for the alleged murder of 14 people and for injuring 182 during a raid on the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality building on the night of the failed coup.
A mother of three children aged 3, 7 and 10.
Esma Uludağ, a 35-year old Turkish woman who fled Turkish government’s post-coup crackdown to Greece, passed away on April 29, 2017 due to a heart attack. Uludağ, mother of three children, aged 3, 7 and 10 years old, had to cross the Evros River to take shelter in Greece. She had a stroke at a refugee camp in Athens and taken to the hospital by an ambulance which reportedly arrived 40 minutes later.She passed away despite all the emergency interventions at the hospital.
60-year-old Turkish citizen
A 60-year-old Turkish citizen whose son has been held in İstanbul Silivri Prison since the failed coup attempt. Kılıç’s son was Air Force Academy student and arrested after coup attempt on charges of attempting to eliminate the constitutional order, attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and membership in a terror organization. Kılıç had been holding vigil since August 2016 in front of İstanbul Çağlayan Courthouse to protest his son’s arrest until he came to Ankara upon CHP’s declaration of a “march of justice” in July 2017.
Fatma Yılmazer, the daughter of imprisoned police intelligence chief Ali Fuat Yılmazer, were arrested by an İstanbul court on March 27, 2017 for “using ByLock,” a smartphone application that is considered by Turkish authorities to be a communication tool among Gülenists. Fatma’s father, Mr. Yılmazer, was jailed following corruption probes in late 2013 implicating Erdoğan’s government and is accused of having committed a wide range of crimes. He is being held in Silivri Prison, and Fatma was serving as his lawyer.
Hacı İsa Sezek
83-year old civilian
Hacı İsa Sezek, an 80-year-old Turkish citizen who spent 24 days in police custody in Siirt province, was arrested on January 3, 2017 on charges of “membership in an armed organization.” The elderly arrestee shares the same holding cell with his grandson, Süleyman, who was arrested also on terror charges a year ago. According to the Evrensel daily, Sezek had been denied food and water while in custody and has been suffering from serious health problems. Along with Sezek, DBP provincial head Agit Kaysi, and DBP members Bahri Tez and Osman Koçak were arrested on similar charges.
An 87-year-old Turkish citizen
Ali Osman Karahan, an 87-year-old Turkish citizen with walking and speaking difficulties has been held in an pre-trial detention for almost 22 months on coup charges. 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. 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.
High School Teacher
Gökhan Açıkkollu, a history teacher suffering from diabetes, died of torture in police custody as part of a post-coup investigation into Turkey’s Gülen group, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Detained on July 23, 2016, Gokhan was a history teacher at a state-run high school in Istanbul’s Umraniye district. According to his father, Ayhan Açıkkollu, Gökhan was a diabetics patient while human rights defenders hinted at torture and maltreatment. The 42-year-old teacher spent 13 days under detention before he died.
Aysun Aydemir, an English teacher who gave birth to a baby in an elective caesarean procedure on May 12, was detained at the hospital on May 15 and subsequently placed under house arrest with an electronic bracelet on her ankle. Aydemir reportedly spent three days with a 3-day-old baby in Zonguldak police station and then a judge overseeing the case initially put her in pre-trial detention and then turned it into house arrest. The mother is charged with having links to Turkey’s Gülen group. Click here to see all the women arrested as part of an ongoing purge by the Turkish government.
A Turkish businessman and activist
Osman Kavala, a Turkish businessman and a human rights activist, has been held in pre-trial detention since November 2017. Detained upon his arrival to İstanbul’s Atatürk airport late on October 18, 2017, Kavala is accused of “attempting to abolish the constitutional order” and “attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic,” Media also said Kavala has been under investigation in the same probe that led to the jailing of US consulate employee Metin Topuz over alleged ties to Turkey’s Gulen group on Oct 4, 2017. Kavala was born in 1957 in Paris and studied economics at the University of Manchester. Upon his father’s passing in 1982, he took over the management of the Kavala Companies.
Savaş Uyar, a 41-year-old public accountant in Turkey’s Giresun province was given 8 years of prison sentence on coup and terror charges. He was briefly jailed in June 2016 due to his accounting contract with some companies seized over their links to the Gulen movement. Having spent some time behind bars in pre-trial detention on charges of abetting a terror group, he was released on judicial control. A month after his release, Uyar was arrested once more to spend nearly 2 years in jail on similar charges. Several Twitter accounts said Uyar has been suffering from 4 different medical problems including goiter, vitamin deficiency and reflux, all of which have caused him to lose 52 kilograms over the past 22 months. CHP deputy Sezgin Tanrikulu has constantly urged the government to release Uyar for medical treatment, to no avail.
Boydak Holding’s former Chairman Hacı Boydak was arrested in August 2016 for alleged links to the recent failed military coup attempt in Turkey. Also, the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) seized all property and assets of the Boydak Holding. The Holding’s current Chairman Mustafa Boydak, deputy chairman Şükrü Boydak and executive board members İlyas Boydak and Bekir Boydak had also been detained as part of the same investigation. All of the arrestees are accused of having a membership in a terrorist organization. Boydak Holding is active in a number of sectors, including energy, furniture and banking with 38 subsidiary companies. According to its website, it has an annual turnover of more than TL 6 billion ($2 billion) and employs over 13,000 people.
A 47-year-old public prosecutor who was put behind bars in the western province of Bursa, was found hanging in the prison bathroom on September 16, 2016. “This is not a suicide but a murder. He is not the kind of person to commit suicide,” said the prosecutor’s daughter, Ayça Yiğit. “We visited him during the Eid al-Adha holiday. He was fine. He said he wrote some letters to us sent on various dates. They were not suicide letters. He even wrote [a letter] to President [Erdoğan]. We have not yet received them,” she added. Mr. Yiğit was among the prosecutors who oversaw an investigation into allegations of irregularities within Turkey’s Mass Housing Administration (TOKI) in late 2013, a landmark year when widespread graft allegations implicating four cabinet ministers and a son of then-PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were revealed.
Father of a 14-year-old deceased boy
Imprisoned father of Berk Görmez, a 14-year-old boy who died of intestinel cancer in January 2018, could attend his son’s funeral only in handcuffs. “They did not take off Bekir Gormez’s handcuffs during the funeral for his son Berk Gormez who died before he was allowed to visit his father,” human rights advocate Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu tweeted. Berk qualified for a 97 percent disability rating and had 80 percent hearing loss as well as several other severe health problems. It was reported that he experienced two operations on his intestinal knot last year. He has lost a kidney and his health situation did not improve since then.
Bomb Disposal Expert
Bilal Konakçı, a former bomb disposal expert for the İzmir Police Department who was retired after he lost his right hand and both eyes while trying to dispose of a bomb in 2009, was detained on Dec. 20, 2017 over links to the Gülen group. His wife is worried about his health as authorities refuse to allow the family to contact him. Konakçı’s wife Özlem, in a letter to Yeni Çağ daily columnist Ahmet Takan, said that her husband cannot see to his daily needs as he lost two eyes and a hand in a bomb explosion, a disability that was confirmed in a state hospital report. After 21 days in detention, Konakçı was arrested by a court in İzmir on Jan. 10 and has been kept in a prison in İzmir’s Menemen district since then.
A video shared on Jan. 23, 2017 by Mahmut Tanal, a deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), on social media showed five children left alone in tears in front of Sincan Prison in Ankara after their mother was detained while they were visiting their father in prison. One of the kids opens the door of the car in the prison’s parking lot, showing his brothers crying, and says in tears, “We are five brothers, left alone. We have a handicapped brother. I commend those people to God’s punishment.” Reaction mounted after the video was shared on social media by Tanal.“Leaving children alone in such a situation is against the Convention on the Rights of the Child and all related laws. We will follow this issue,” Tanal said.
A Turkish family of five reportedly drowned after a boat capsized in the Aegean Sea, off the western coast of Turkey. The victims had reportedly been sought by the Turkish government over their links to the Gülen group. The Turkish media said all 5 victims, including three children, were of Turkish origin. They were reportedly en route to Lesbos, a Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey. The names are the victims are as follows: Hüseyin Maden, his wife Nur Maden, and the couple’s children Nadire Maden, Bahar Maden and Feridun Maden.
12-year-old cancer patient
12 year-old Furkan died of brain cancer several months after Turkish border agents seized his and his parents’ passports at İstanbul Atatürk Airport, causing the family to abandon their plans to receive cancer treatment in Cuba. According to a series of tweets posted by Turkish journalist Sıtkı Özcan on February 7, 2017, the family’s passports were seized at the border because of alleged links to the Gülen group, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. “And the child you [Turkish officials] prevented from leaving the county passed away today. Furkan is no longer with us. Be proud!,”Özcan tweeted.
Taner Nakıboğlu, a Turkish businessman and the owner of government-seized Naksan Holding, a Gaziantep-based packing company, said during a hearing on Nov. 7, 2017 that before his company was confiscated, he was the richest businessmen in Gaziantep province; yet his family now lives on the breadline. “I once owned Europe’s biggest packing company. And I was the richest businessman in Gaziantep. We have not hidden money neither in Turkey nor abroad. Now, we depend on my mother’s retirement pension for a living. My wife has recently been granted poverty certificate by the state,” Nakıboğlu said during a hearing in which he is being tried on terror charges.
Jailed Police Chief
Yavuz Bölek, a police chief dismissed from profession following corruption probes implicating Erdoğan, has cancer, and will soon be struck with paralysis if he isn’t given medical attention. His pleas are ignored. “My husband is slowly dying in prison for a crime he did not commit. For chemotherapy, the prison management allows him to go to a hospital, which is almost four hours away from the prison. He is in need of nursing but sometimes they do not even give him a simple aspirin,” wife Nurgül Bölek told Turkey Purge editors.She also added that her husband cannot even stand on his feet during the contact visitation hours at the prison.
Physicist and research scientist
Serkan Gölge, a 36-year-old physicist and research scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the US, is being held in solitary confinement in Turkey on coup charges. Golge arrived in Turkey in late June 2016 to spend time with his family. He was put in pre-trial detention in August 2016 and later was given a prison sentence of 7.5 years on coup and terror charges. “We remain concerned that … [Mr. Gölge] has not been allowed a visit from U.S. consular representatives, and that he has been subjected to extended periods of solitary confinement,” the co-chairs of the Committee of Concerned Scientists said in a letter to Turkish Erdoğan dated Jan. 11, 2017.
Memduh Çıkmaz, a Turkish businessman who was detained in Sudan and forced back to Turkey as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s global manhunt last year, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail. Once awarded by former President Abdullah Gul as the third highest tax payer in the central Anatolian province of Corum, Çıkmaz was detained in September 2017 in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum where he owns a tile manufacturing company. Shortly after his detention, he “was brought back to Turkey with MIT [Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency] operation.”
Recep Güneş, a Turkish businessman who sought aslyum in Bosnia claiming he fled the Turkish government’s post-coup purge, died on May 1, 2018 at a public park at the foothills of the Mount Igman on the outskirts of Sarajevo. He reportedly died of heart attack.Güneş’s assets were reportedly seized by the Turish government and has been sought in Turkey over his alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Güneş reportedly fled Turkey soon after the coup attempt and has been seeking legal protection in Bosnia.
Selahattin Demirtaş is the former co-chair of Turkey’s 3rd largest political party, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). He has been held in pre-trial detention in Edirne Prison since Nov. 2016 as part of a terrorism probe. Mr. Demirtaş has been nominated as his party’s presidential candidate for the June 24 presidential election. He runs his campaign from prison. Demirtaş was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 when the government launched a crackdown on pro-Kurdish politicians following a failed coup attempt, which critics say has been expanded to target all government opponents and dissenting voices.
Betül Seda Özcan
A 10-year-old girl from Elazığ
Betül Seda Özcan died on June 26, 2017 in a traffic accident in Elazığ while on her way to visit her father, Ali Osman Özcan, who has been imprisoned over links to Turkey’s Gülen group. She hit the road along with her mother from Kocaeli province to visit her father in a closed prison in Elazig during Eid-Al-Fitr holiday. When they reached the intersection near the prison in Elazig, she was struck by a car trying to cross the road. Betul Seda was taken in an ambulance to Firat University Hospital where she later died. Her father, Ali Osman has been under arrest over coup charges for over 6 months.
33-year-old police officer. He had suffered from severe gastrointestinal pain for weeks at Sivas prison and died several weeks after being released pending trial. According to photos and tweets posted by family members on Twitter, Eyce had been denied food and water in jail, thereby losing 45 kilograms in three months. A lawyer representing Eyce told Turkish media that when he was arrested he weighed 90 kilograms. Pictures posted on social media also revealed the extent of the ill-treatment against the jailed police officer, causing serious concern about the fate of thousands of civilians who have been kept in prisons under poor conditions across the country. “When he was released, his body was beyond recognition,” said Emel Eyce, the wife of the police officer.
A Christian pastor
A Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for 23 years. Turkish prosecutors demand up to 35 years in prison for Brunson for perpetrating crimes in the name of the Gülen movement and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). US President Donald Trump in a tweet in April 2018 urged the Turkish government to free the pastor. “Pastor Andrew Brunson, a fine gentleman and Christian leader in the United States, is on trial and being persecuted in Turkey for no reason. They call him a Spy, but I am more a Spy than he is. Hopefully he will be allowed to come home to his beautiful family where he belongs!” Trump tweeted. Jailed in October 2016, the pastor is accused of acquiring secret political and military information, attempting to destroy constitutional order and overthrow the Turkish Parliament.
A law student and journalist
Ayşenur, a 28-year-old reporter from the now-closed Zaman daily, was sentenced in November 2017 to 7 years, 6 months in prison on charges of membership to a terrorist organization. “The only offence I was involved in is to work for Zaman newspaper. I wish I had not. All the leading figures from the newspaper went abroad tweeting about press freedom. I demand my acquittal and release,” Parildak said. “I want to be acquitted. I am so exhausted,” she said as her last words. The court initially ruled to sentence Parildak to 9 years of imprisonment, which was later reduced to 7.5 years, on charges of membership to the alleged Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO). Parildak was taken back to the Silivri Prison.
A former Supreme Court of Appeals member
A Supreme Court of Appeals member until he was dismissed as part of the government’s post-coup purge of public institutions, died in critical care soon after being released from prison pending trial. His family members earlier said that the medical reports showing the seriousness of his situation were ignored and the appeals for his release were rejected. “Even my best friends stopped talking to me, thinking that they would get harmed. My professors at the school [Ankara University’s Faculty of Law] whom I used to get along with cut me dead. No one except some of my father’s brave friends dared to call us. My social circle has completely changed. Up until my father passed away,” Buket told Grihat online news platform.
59-years-old Turkish writer.
He passed away after falling from a three-Storey-building in Balikesir as he was “attempting to escape” a police raid on May 9, 2017. Balıkesir police raided Kayapalı’s apartment upon a complaint about a meeting of Gülen followers, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Kayapalı is reported to have gone out on the balcony when he saw police raiding the apartment he was in. The agency did not elaborate on the incident further but said the iron bar he was holding broke off and that he fell to the ground from the third floor. Author of four books on religion and family issues, Kayapalı died at the scene.
21-year-old university student
Tuğçe Ölçer died after jumping off a balcony due to depression over her father’s imprisonment on coup charges. A fourth year student at the Istanbul-based Boğaziçi University’s faculty of education, Tuğçe jumped to her death from the balcony of her family’s house in Buca, Izmir, on June 11, 2017. Local media reported that Ölçer had suffered psychological trauma and depression since her father, identified only by the initials M.A.Ö., was arrested in September 2016. M.A.Ö., a former teacher who also served as the director of national education in İzmir’s Tire district, was dismissed from his job over alleged links to the Gülen group.
Chairman of the board of Amnesty International Turkey
Taner Kılıç, a lawyer, a founding member of AI Turkey and chairman of its board of directors since 2014, was arrested by an İzmir court on June 9, 2017 as part of an investigation into the Gülen group. He faces terror charges along with 10 other rights defenders who could be jailed up to 15 years if convicted. Even though the Istanbul 35th High Criminal Court ordered for his release in Feb. 2018, the same court reversed its decision a day later. The prosecutor alleged a range of charges, including aiding the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gülen group, which is accused by the Turkish government of being behind a failed coup last year.
A Turkish teacher
Ayşe Çelik, a Turkish teacher with 6-month-old baby, was put in pre-trial detention on April 20, 2018 for “praising terrorism and a terrorist organization” during live talk show in 2016. An investigation was launched into her after she called in to the popular “Beyaz Show“ on Jan. 8, 2016 and urged authorities to take action to prevent the killing of children in clashes between Turkish security forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).During the TV program, Çelik said: “Are you aware of what’s going on in the country’s east? Don’t stay silent! Please show more sensitivity as human beings! See us, hear us and give us a hand! Don’t let people die. Don’t let children die.”
An associate professor of political science at Bogazici University. He was put in house arrest on July 10, 2017 as part of a post-coup investigation and later sentenced to one year, six months and 22 days in prison for “disseminating propaganda for a terror organization.” His current whereabouts are unknown. In addition to Mr. Çalışkan, eight others from Boğaziçi University and 64 from Medeniyet University, among them 19 assistant professors at the university’s faculty of medicine, are being investigated as part of the same terror probe.
Hasan Çetin was a 30-year-old medical doctor at the Katip Çelebi University Atatürk Teaching and Research Hospital. He was fired from his job weeks after the coup attempt on terror charges. Days after his dismissal, Dr. Çetin committed suicide by jumping from the 10th floor of the hospital. He reportedly sustained critical injuries in the fall and couldn’t be saved despite doctors’ efforts. He was cleared by the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office of all accusations 13 months after he died.
Kemal Uçar is an outspoken Turkish lawyer. He is known for representing some of the coup suspects from the Turkish military. Held in police custody for 11 days, Uçar was put in pre-trial detention on March 12, 2018 in İstanbul. The lawyer was also banned from taking up cases concerning the coup attempt. He is still being held in a prison in Istanbul. Ucar, himself, feared arrest before the he was taken into police custody. “A prosecutor told me: ‘Kemal, you question military issues too much. You will be blacklisted as a lawyer for Gülenists,” he earlier told a TV program.
Ali Hocaoğlu is an Izmir-based Turkish businessmen. He had spent almost a year in Sakran prison on coup charges. He died of gastric cancer weeks after being released pending trial. Hocaoğlu’s assets were reportedly seized by the Turkish government and he was released only after his medical condition deteriorated significantly. Hocaoğlu reportedly spent his final week in intensive care unit at an hospital in Turkey’s İzmir province.
Ömer Çatkıç is a former Turkish national football team goalkeeper. Arrested on August 22, 2017, Çatkic is accused of being a member of a terror organization. Among the evidences for his arrest were his alleged use of a smart phone application known as ByLock and his alleged money deposit into Bank Asya. He is still being held in an Istanbul prison. Turkish authorities believe using ByLock is a sign of being a Gülen follower as they see the mobile phone application as the top communication tool among the group.
Barbaros Şansal is a human rights activist and a fashion designer. Mr. Şansal was attacked by a mob and then jailed by an İstanbul court in January 2017 due to a video he posted on New Year’s Eve. In the video, he said: “I won’t celebrate [the New Year]. Do you know what I am gonna do? I will drink up all drinks at bar and home,” Şansal said in the video before adding:” Drown in your shit, Turkey!” He had spent some 4 months in the Silivri prison until being released pending trial. He was eventually given 6 month, 20 day prison sentence.
She is a judge and the former secretary-general of Turkey’s top judicial body, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. She has been held in solitary confinement for over 20 months. Mrs Ekici was fired from her job and then put in pre-trial detention days after the July 15 coup attempt. She has been suffering from serious mental and physical disorders as a result of her month-long isolation, according to her daughter Rana Ekici. “My mother is losing her mental health in solitary confinement,” tweeted Rana.
Visually impaired Turkish journalist. Arat was sent to prison on July 10, 2017 after an appeals court upheld his sentence of eight years, 10 months and 15 days. Arat’s family lives in Adana, but the journalist has been sent to a prison in Izmir’s Menemen district, which makes it difficult for family members to visit him. He is still being held in the Menemen prison on terror charges.
A sociologist and leftist human rights activist
A dismissed public servant and a symbolic figure known for his disobedience of police in several demonstrations held in Ankara’s Yüksel Street. He was fired from his job after the coup attempt and started to protest his dismissal under post-coupemergency rule. He has been detained tens of times and reportedly faced ill-treatment in custody. Saçılık lost his right arm in a military operation known as “Operation Return to Life” conducted in December 2000 in 20 prisons across Turkey.
48-year-old journalist, author and HDP İstanbul parliamentary candidate. Şık, along with several other journalists from daily Cumhuriyet, was convicted on April 25, 2018 by a Turkish court of “aiding and abetting several terror organizations.” He had spent some seventeen months in İstanbul’s Silivri Prison. “There is a judiciary controlled by the government that is translating this ’terrorist’ term into preposterous accusations,” said Mr. Şık.
A 45-year-old Turkish businessman. He was kidnapped on April 28, 2018 by a group of eight people in front of a courthouse in Baku, and was forcefully flown to Turkey a day later. Upon his forceful return , the businessman was put in pre-trial detention by an İstanbul court on coup charges. Mr. Ceyhan is believed to have been affiliated with the Gülen group, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a coup attempt in 2016.
Mr. Güllüoğlu is the chief executive of one of Turkey’s largest patisseries, Güllüoglu Baklava. He has been held in pre-trial detention since August 2016. He faces 15 years in jail on charges of membership in a terrorist organization and attempting to overthrow the Turkish gov’t. Savings Deposit Insurance Fund took over the administration of Mr. Güllüoğlu’s company on coup charges. He was reportedly arrested after a book written by US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen found at his workplace during a police search.
Two years since the failed coup attempt!
Mass jailings, sackings and the suspension of the rule of law by the Turkish gov't have produced thousands of victims.
— Turkey Purge (@TurkeyPurge) July 15, 2018