In yet another example of disproportionate punishment imposed on people targeted in Turkey’s post-coup witch-hunt, an English-language teacher was put behind bars along with her 36-day-old baby in Mersin province.
Emin Çölaşan, a veteran columnist from the country’s left-wing Kemalist daily, Sözcü, is continuing to publish letters he has been receiving from victims of the post-coup purge.
In his Sunday column Çölaşan included a letter from relatives of a female teacher who was sacked from her post over alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a July 15 coup attempt.
What follows is the translation of a letter Çölaşan has published in order to spread the word
“R.Y., an English teacher in Mersin, was in the final month of her pregnancy when the July 15 coup attempt took place. There were 19 days to go before the birth. She was experiencing a difficult pregnancy.
A few days after the coup attempt, R.Y. was suspended on the accusation of membership in a terrorist organization.
She gave a birth to a girl on August 4.
It was her first child. She was both inexperienced and excited.
After her child got jaundice, the family worried a lot. The baby was not able to take breast milk, either.
While the mother was just recovering, she was removed from her job on September 1.
On September 9, she was arrested and put into custody. She is still being held in [Mersin’s] Tarsus Women’s Prison.
Sixty people are living in a 30-person holding cell, and the baby is also with them.
Luckily, the mother’s breast milk has yet to dry up.
A prison doctor stated in a medical report that it was not healthy for the baby to stay there. Yet, the mother was not even let into the infirmary.
What kind of justice is that to force an … infant to stay in prison while the notion of trial without arrest exists?”