Human Tragedies of Turkey’s Purge

History teacher gives birth to her third child in prison

Under arrest as part of an investigation into the Gulen movement since Nov 3, 2016, history teacher Özlem Meci gave birth to her third child in prison.

A mother of two, Özlem delivered her third child, named Murat, on Feb 15, 2017 but her requests for trial without arresthave remained inconclusive so far.

A former lecturer at a preparatory school established by followers of the movement in Ardahan Özlem was arrested on charge of attempting to demolish constitutional order and of membership to a terrorist organization.

The government accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt and considers it as a terrorist organization. The group denies both involvement in the failed coup and terror charges.

“As far as I know, it is against our Constitution to keep women in prison after they turn the 6th month in pregnancy,” Özlem told the prosecutor’s office in a letter, dated Nov 23, 2016.

Özlem and Murat have been staying at Aliaga prison in the western province of Izmir.

According to recent data released by the Ministry of Justice, more than 2,250 mothers are held in penal institutions, of whom 520 are obliged to raise their 0 to 6-year-old children in prison.

Turkey allegedly keeps mother with infant under arrest until husband surrenders self

Dilek Sağlam, a teacher and mother of a 10-month-old baby, has been under arrest since June 12 because her husband could not be found by the police, TR724 reported on Tuesday.

Sağlam has a 5-year-old daughter who is unable to continue her treatment for shortness of breath due to her mother’s arrest. Sağlam’s father was told that his daughter would be released only if his son-in-law surrenders to the police.

A military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on Turkey’s Gülen group.

The group denies any involvement.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

Yet another new mother detained just after delivery

Hatice Avan, who gave birth to a baby in the western Turkish province of Denizli on Thursday, was detained on Friday, despite her doctor’s objection, over alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Avan, who used to work at a student dormitory affiliated with the Gülen movement until three years ago, was taken to the prosecutor’s office although her doctor warned that she had just had surgery and was suffering from poor health.

Police officers wanted to handcuff Avan in her hospital room, but upon a request from her family they instead locked her in the room with her baby before detaining her.

69-year-old dies of heart attack during Justice March against post-coup violations

The 69-year-old Hasan Tatli passed away after a heart attack he suffered during the ‘March of Justice’, a 250-mile walk the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) started against the government’s post-coup rights violations five days ago.

Started a day after the arrest of CHP deputy Enis Berberoglu, the protest is expected to last some 23 days, covering a 250-mile distance from Ankara’s Guven Park to Maltepe district of Istanbul.

Tatli, a retired civil servant thought to be a member of CHP’s local branch in Ankara’s Mamak district, suddenly fell to the ground while he was sitting with fellow protesters during a break the group took after a 70-minute walk around İğdir neighborhood on early Sunday.

Media reported on Monday that Tatli died despite efforts to keep him alive under intensive care unit at Hamdi Eriş State Hospital in Kazan, Ankara.

Holding a white banner that reads “justice” in red letters, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu told media on Thursday that the group is marching in support of those who had been unjustly included in the government’s post-coup purge.

Turkish government detained more than 120,000 people and arrested over 50,000 in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Meanwhile, some 130,000 people have lost hteir jobs over coup charges.

Woman accused of being Gülenist by ex-husband in prison for 10 months

Tuba Kaya, a 27-year-old reporter from the now-closed Zaman daily, was arrested on Sept. 19 after her ex-husband lodged a complaint claiming that she was a member of Turkey’s Gülen group, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Kaya, who is in the 10th month of her arrest, is a mother of a two-year old kid.

Kronos.news news portal published a letter sent by Kaya to Sevinç Özarslan, one of the portal’s reporters, in which she said she is allowed to see her daughter only once in a month.

According to the report, she filed a divorce case after was subjected to violence, and the husband, in return, informed her on for alleged membership in a “terrorist organization.”

“The most sensitive issue here is mothership. It is already difficult for women to live in such a place. The longing for our kids unbearable. We do not know if there is any other investigation as part of which this many women were put under arrest. I am staying with teachers, doctors, academics, nurses and many others,” Kaya stated.

Kaya also said in her letter that she misses her baby more than anything.

“Last month a pregnant woman came here. There were no beds for her. I gave her mine so she could rest. I sleep on the floor now. We though she was going to give birth here in prison, as it took a month [for the prison management] to decide [to send her to a hospital]. I don’t understand why this is necessary.”

“I am neither the first nor the last person to be thrown into jail unjustly. […] I hope that all this will go away as if I am waking up from a bad nightmare. Do not worry. I am enjoying good health. What is worse, my family is ruined. I am hoping that your praying exhilarates them.”

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the AK Party government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on Turkey’s Gülen group.

The movement denies any involvement.

However, hundreds of people have been detained and later arrested on charges of membership in the group.

Woman detained along with 40-day-old baby while visiting jailed husband

Zehra Elbir, a former court clerk who was earlier dismissed from her job in the government’s post-coup purge of state institutions, was detained only 40 days after she gave birth to her second child during a visit to her husband in prison.

Eril Elbir, Zehra’s husband and a former police officer who was also dismissed over his alleged links to the Gulen movement, has been under arrest for 9 months.

In yet another example of disproportionate punishment imposed on people targeted in Turkey’s post-coup witch-hunt, Elbir was taken under police custody along with her 40-day-old baby when she showed up at Ankara’s Sincan prison to meet her husband during an open visit on June 16.

It is not the first time that Zehra was detained, media said, adding that she has been taken into custody also another time when police raided a hospital and caught her while she was accompanying the family’s other child.

Dozens of human tragedies in Turkey have been reported, part of post-coup witch-hunt against the Gülen movement, which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuse of being behind the failed coup.

The movement denies involvement.

Police detain another woman shortly after delivery

Esra Demir, 31-year-old teacher who gave birth to a baby at a Batman hospital on Sunday, was reportedly detained by police and taken to a police station with her newborn baby on Monday as part of an investigation into Turkey’s Gülen group.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu said in a tweet that Demir was taken by police to Batman Police Station only a day after she gave birth.

“Teacher Esra Demir gave a birth yesterday and she was detained today at Batman police headquarters. It this news true? If yes, are these humans?” asked Tanrıkulu in a Twitter message mentioning Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ.

The Tr724 news portal also reported that Demir gave birth at Batman Dünya Hospital on Sunday and police took her into custody as she was leaving the hospital on Monday.

Dozens of human tragedies in Turkey have been reported, part of the government witch-hunt against the Gülen movement, which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuse of being behind the failed coup.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the AKP government along with Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen group, inspired by US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

The group denies the accusations.

8.5-month pregnant woman under arrest though baby faces heart, kidney problems

With only days to go before the delivery, a Kayseri woman is still held under arrest even though her baby has heart and kidney problems.

Hurriyet columnist Ayse Arman interviewed Mehmet Fatih Öztürk, a lawyer representing Şule Gümüşoluk, an 8.5-months-pregnant woman who is being held in pre-trial detention at the Kayseri Prison.

“According to medical reports on hand, there are problems on the baby’s heart and kidneys. Its heart has a hole and its kidneys get growing at a pace much greater than the normal. A doctor even told Şule that the baby would have been treated before it was already late. If she was not under arrest, the baby would have been treated before it was born,” Öztürk told Arman.

The lawyer underlines that the decision to keep Şule under arrest violates not only universal treaties on children’ rights but also Turkey’s own regulation.

“Lots of things that you wouldn’t believe take place during the post-coup emergency rule,” the lawyer further continued.

Since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, Turkey has detained more than 120,000 people and jailed some 50,000 as part of its post-coup crackdown. The arrestees include several pregnant women, elderly citizens, disabled individuals and many from other vulnerable groups.

Under police custody for days, woman covers 50 km to feed one-year old baby twice a day

Şule Akkaya, a primary school teacher who was detained on June 1 as part of an investigation into Turkey’s Gülen group, reportedly covers 40 to 50 km twice a day to breastfeed her one-year-old baby in Zonguldak.

According to TR724 news portal, Şule Akkaya, whose husband has been held in prison for almost eleven months over alleged links to the Gülen group, was detained by police in Zonguldak and then taken to Ereğli, a district located some 50 kilometers from where she was detained.

Akkaya, who has four kids aged 1 to 10, reportedly accompanied by police every day from Ereğli Police Station to her house in Zonguldak to feed the baby and fulfil the needs of the children.

Due to a government-backed witch-hunt against the Gülen group, which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuses of being behind a failed coup on July 15, 2016, tens of human tragedies have been reported in Turkey,

Turkish government survived the attempt that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others, however; AK Party officials along with Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen group and launched a widespread war on its alleged and real followers.

The group denies any involvement in the attempt.

Imprisoned pro-Kurdish deputy asks to keep 3-year-old daughter with her in prison

Burcu Çelik, a deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who has been behind bars since April 19, has applied to the administration of Sincan Prison in Ankara to keep her 3-year-old daughter with her in prison, Turkish media reports said on Wednesday.

Çelik’s daughter Asmin Mira has reportedly been overwhelmed by the absence of her mother and the lack of opportunity to hug and kiss her during closed prison visits when visitors are separated by glass and cannot make physical contact.

HDP deputy group chairman Filiz Kerestecioğlu raised the situation of Çelik’s daughter during a speech at the party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.

“The three-year-old daughter of our Muş deputy will go to prison. Today, there are 560 children incarcerated with their mothers in prisons. This figure will rise to 561 in a few days because Muş deputy Burcu Çelik has applied to the prison administration to keep her daughter with her in prison,” said Kerestecioğlu.

According to Turkey’s Justice Ministry, a total of 560 children under the age of 6 are staying in Turkish prisons along with their mothers.

Responding to a parliamentary question from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Gamze İlgezdi, the ministry recently said the number of children staying with their mothers behind bars had reached 560 as of April.

Children are taken to prison in the absence of family members to look after them. The Turkish government has launched a sweeping crackdown across the country, detaining more than 140,000 and jailing some 50,000 over alleged or real links to a July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

In the meantime, there are currently 10 HDP deputies who are behind bars including the party’s Co-chairpersons Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ.

5-year-old dies in traffic accident on way to visit to imprisoned father

5-year-old son of the imprisoned judge Fatih Canik died in a traffic accident while on his way to visit his father in a Kahramanmaras prison on May 19.

According to the newly-established blog, Justice Held Hostage, Fatih’s wife Hanife and their two kids made some 750 km from the western province of Afyon to visit him in a prison in Kahramanmaras.

On their way to Kahramanmaras, the three had a traffic accident leaving one of the children — 5-year-old Ahmet– dead. He was buried in a ceremony that was attended by his father as well on Friday.

Fatih is only one of the thousands of judges the government has arrested as part of its post-coup crackdown against the dissident voices, particularly the followers of the Gulen movemen, which Turkish authorities pinned the blame on for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Teacher jailed with 3-day-old baby released only to house arrest with ankle bracelet

Aysun Aydemir, an English teacher who was jailed with her three-day-old baby on Monday, has been released only to house arrest with an electronic bracelet on her ankle.

Aydemir was detained three days after she gave birth to a baby in an elective caesarean procedure at a Zonguldak hospital as part of an investigation into the Gulen movement, on May 15. Police took her into custody from the hospital despite the fact that she was barely able to walk due to the surgery.

The judge overseeing Aydemir’s case put her in pre-trial detention along with her newborn baby the same day.

According to main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party’s (CHP) Zonguldak deputy Serafettin Turpcu, the judge turned her pre-trial detention into house arrest with Aydemir confined to his home with an electronic ankle tracking bracelet.

Purged teacher dies after accident at construction site

Bünyamin Aydoğan, a teacher who was dismissed by a decree issued by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, died on Friday evening in a pipeline construction accident in Kahramanmaraş province, the Hürriyet daily reported.

According to the report, Aydoğan (39) died when a large pipe carried by an overhead crane fell on him on the 20th day of his new job with a construction company in the Afşin district of Kahramanmaraş.

The Turkish government has purged more than 145,000 state officials including judges, prosecutors, doctors, academics and teachers as part of the witch-hunt targeting the Gülen group since a failed coup on July 15.

Dismissed civil servants have been prohibited from securing another job in public institutions, while many teachers’ diplomas were also cancelled. Since a majority of the private sector is concerned about government pressure, they prefer not to employ fired public workers.

In order to survive, many dismissed civil servants and others have become unregistered market vendors or laborers on farms, for construction companies and the like.

Arrested journalist married in 10-minute ceremony in prison

Under arrest for nearly two months, Yeni Asya daily editor Nur Ener got married on April 27 in Bakirkoy prison after a 10-minute ceremony with no attendance from family members of both fiance and herself.

Ener was arrested over her alleged use of ByLock, a smartphone messaging application that Turkish government claims to be the top communication tool among the members of the Gülen movement. The government accuses the movement of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt, on Mar 5, this year.

Ener had had her wedding scheduled for an earlier time but she failed to make it through due to her arrest. A new date was booked by her fiancé Recep Kılınç only with a change in the venue.

“I feared that the prosecutor would ask me to get permission from the ministry. But that did not happen. He let us marry at 14.00 pm. I took a deep breath and got relaxed. I did not even dare to ask if parents are able to attend. Thus, they failed to attend. Even witnesses are not allowed from outside. We got married with two guards acting as witnesses,” Kilinc told Turkish media.

“I entered the prison along with a registrar. I saw Nur sitting near the wedding table. There were only 5 or 6 chairs and it was a simple table. All was done in 5-10 minutes,” he continued adding that prison guards did not let the new couple for a small talk after the wedding.

Journalist Ayşenur Parıldak in prison for months

Aysenur Parildak, a former reporter from the now-closed Zaman daily, was arrested on Aug. 11 because whistleblower Fuat Avni, a Twitter user with nearly 3 million followers, was one of Aysenur’s followers.

A Turkish prosecutor is seeking a 15-year jail sentence for journalist Aysenur Parildak. If found guilty (!), she will be 39 when she gets out of prison.

Parıldak was covering court stories for the Zaman daily and also a student at the law faculty of Ankara University. She was planning to graduate this summer and continue her career as a lawyer because she was fired by the new administration of the paper, which was appointed by the government.

Recently sending a letter to the Cumhuriyet daily from prison, Parıldak said: “I was subjected to violence and sexual abuse. I was interrogated day and night for eight days. They [police officers] were questioning me while they were under the influence of alcohol and were not avoiding saying this. Then the court process began and I am here. I stayed here in a ward for one month. Then  20 people were taken out of wards and placed in cells, which is solitary confinement. … I am afraid of being forgotten here.”

The journalist said during her interrogation, she was asked why she had an account at Bank Asya, which was recently shut down by the government due to its links with the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused of by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of masterminding the failed coup on July 15.

Parıldak said she had a bank account at Bank Asya because Zaman was working with Bank Asya and depositing its employees’ salaries there. Zaman, which was Turkey’s best-selling daily, was first taken over by the government in March and then closed down in July by a government decree due to its affiliation with the Gülen movement.

Parıldak also said she was asked why a government whistleblower known as Fuat Avni was following her on Twitter.

“They found a Starbucks receipt in my purse and asked me questions like whether I was relaying information to Fuat Avni by using Starbucks’ WiFi,” Parıldak said.

The journalist also talked about what other inmates arrested following the coup attempt are going through in prison. She said a woman judge cut her wrists in prison because she was overwhelmed by the harsh treatment she was receiving there, and that a 60-year-old woman identified only by her initials A.B. was forced to take out all of her clothes to be searched twice.

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 AKP government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

The movement denies the accusations.

Top judge, paralysed after cancer surgery, under arrest at hospital

A Supreme Court of Appeals member until he was dismissed as part of the government’s post-coup purge of public institutions, Mustafa Erdogan has been kept in a holding cell at a private hospital since Dec. 30, 2016.

In a letter to the newly-established solidarity platform Justice Held Hostage, his daughter Buket Erdogan said the top judge was denied right to “trial without arrest” although he was paralysed after a surgery on his brain.

“I am a second-grade law faculty student at Ankara University. … I want to tell you what we have been through since the July 15, 2016 [coup attempt],” she started her letter.

Buket said police raided their home on July 16 and that an arrest warrant was issued for her father a day after while all their properties were confiscated by the government.

She said her father refused to turn himself in to the police in the face of rights violations proliferated under post-coup emergency rules. To top it off, she added, her father has been suffering from a tumour on his brain.

“[Doctors] told that he must undergo a surgery right away. … Police came by immediately after he was hospitalized for surgery. While all I was thinking was my father’s health, police officers were discussing ways to arrest and take him to the police station in front of the intensive care unit,” Buket narrated.

“Left part of his body got paralyzed after the surgery. …On Dec. 30, 2016, my father was transferred to a holding cell at Akdeniz University’s Medical Faculty. My father was not even aware of his arrest. …Police are always on watch keeping in mind the possibility of him escaping. …Father’s holding cell at the hospital is closed with double-layer bars. I always wonder how doctors would be able to serve immediate treatment with those bars in case of an emergency. …Now he often suffers from memory loss and sometimes hallucinate things.”

Buket said her father was released for a day on Feb. 2 only before the prosecutor in charge objected to the decision.

Since he has become a bedridden patient after the surgery, doctors asked for permission to give him an air mattress so that he gets no harm to his back during long hours of lying, Buket added.

“[However], it was considered as a technologic device and was not let into,” she elaborated.

“Doctors say he is able to live for 2 years more at best. Is it fair that he will be breathing his last under such circumstances?”

4-year-old visits dad in jail on Children’s Day wearing T-shirt with newborn brother’s picture

We can all pack up and go home because a 4-year-old has just rendered Turkey’s Children’s Day meaningless.

Minutes before paying a visit to her jailed father early on Sunday morning, H.A. was photographed in front of Sakarya L Type Prison wearing a T-shirt bearing a photo of her newborn baby brother.

She couldn’t bring the infant himself to visit due to regulations; therefore, his photo was printed on her T-shirt to show the imprisoned father his newborn son.

The father was reportedly arrested as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, which is accused of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The movement denies any involvement.

However, the government has so far investigated around 90,000 people and jailed more than 47,000 over links to the group. Prisoners in such investigations include teachers, doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, students, plumbers, football players, actors and even a comedian.

74-year-old dies of heart attack in prison, children in handcuffs during funeral

The 74-year-old businessman Recep Erdem, under arrest as part of an investigation into the Gulen movement, passed away after a heart attack while his two children, also in prison over similar charges, were allowed to attend funeral ceremony only in handcuffs.

According to local media outlets, Erdem suffered a heart attack in prison early April and was taken to Erzurum regional hospital for treatment. While the elderly failed to make it through the treatment on Apr 6, his children İsmail and İbrahim were given only limited access to funeral with gendarmerie always in company.

The children were allowed for pray only in handcuffs.

Both three were earlier jailed as part of a government crackdown against the Gulen movement, accused of being behind the July 15 coup attempt. Ismail was one of the partners of the Erzurum’s prominent grocery store chain, TEMA until the government seized it. He was put under pre-trial arrest in August, last year.

Recep Erdem was also among leading old-school business owners, according to media.

Paralyzed by ill-treatment in Sivas prison, Turkish police officer dies at 33

Kadir Eyce, a 33-year-old police officer who was jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, has died several weeks after he was released from prison due to health problems.

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.

These two images were taken days before Eyce was sent to jail for depositing money in Bank Asya, a Gülen movement-linked lender, and after he was released pending trial.

The police officer reportedly died at a Sivas Hospital on April 11. He was denied treatment at the hospital even though he was suffering from severe gastrointestinal pain for days. They only allowed him to receive treatment in his cell. When he was finally transferred to a hospital, it was almost too late. “His body was beyond recognition,” said Emel Eyce, the wife of the police officer.

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.

Although the movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

There have been many cases of suicide and death in prison, some of which were found to be suspicious, of people who have been affected by the purge of Gülen movement followers.

Turkish doctor jailed over Gülen links dies of heart attack in prison

Ali Özer, a 48-year-old doctor who was jailed due to his alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, has died of a heart attack in Çorum Prison.

Özer had been the deputy chief physician at Ankara Nallıhan State Hospital.

The doctor died at the Çorum Teaching and Research Hospital, where he was taken after suffering a heart attack in his prison ward.

Özer’s body was sent to the Ankara Council of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy.

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.

There have been many cases of suicide and deaths in prison, some of which were found to be suspicious, of people who have been affected by the purge of Gülen movement followers.

86-year-old Isparta man in prison for months over alleged coup involvement

Ali Osman Karahan, an 86-year-old Turkish man with walking and speaking difficulties has been kept in an Isparta prison for almost eight months over alleged links to the Gülen movement, 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 movement.”

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.

Wife dies of heart attack on way to prison to visit husband in jail: report

A 29 year-old woman died of heart attack on June 26 while on her way to visit her husband who has been imprisoned over links to Turkey’s Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a failed coup last summer.

According to a local news outlet, Pınar Çınar fell to the ground minutes before she left her house in Bursa province in order to pay a visit to her imprisoned husband.

Çınar was immediately taken by a hospital, where she later died.

Since the coup attempt on July 15, Turkey has turned into a hub of people victimized by the purge carried out by the Turkish government. The ruling party of Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the Gülen group of masterminding the coup attempt and launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

The movement denies any involvement.

However,  the Turkish government dismissed over 138,000 people from state jobs, detained more than 110,000 and imprisonment of nearly 55,000 over alleged links to the group.

Pregnant with twins, Kocaeli woman detained during control at hospital

Nuriye Yalcin, a Kocaeli woman who is expected to deliver twin babies in 4.5 months was detained during a regular medical control at Izmit Medical Park Hospital on Tuesday.

Accused of having links to the Gulen movement, Yalcin was held under police custody for 5 hours in Kocali’s Izmit district before she was taken to another police station in the neighboring province of Sakarya.

Turkish government accuses the movement of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies involvement.

It is still unknown whether the court overseeing the case put Yalcin in pre-trial arrest or not, according to Turkish media.

More than 120,000 people have been detained over alleged or real ties to the movement so far.

‘I have cancer and I need my husband,’ begs woman suffering from cancer

“I go to the prosecutor’s office every week and beg them, ‘Please I need my husband.’ I tell them, ‘Please, he can come [to the police station] every day to check in, he has no place to escape, he is not even guilty.’ He can sign in every day. But I just want him beside me. Is it too difficult [to release him]? Please, I am begging.”

These words belong to Nurdan Şahin, wife of an imprisoned teacher, the mother of two girls, a stage four cancer patient, and finally a public servant recently laid off by a gov’t decree.

In a video that was widely shared on the Internet over the weekend, Şahin explained about her visits to the Sinop Public Prosecutor’s Office where she begged prosecutors to release her husband on judicial supervision under which he could check in every day at a police station and be with her in the last days of her life.

Underlining that she might not have long to live because of the cancer, she said she would be the happiest person in the world if her husband were to be released and could be with her during her last days.

While addressing prosecutors in the video, Şahin asked “Are they in good conscience able to sleep when they go to bed at night and put their head on the pillow?”

Breaking into tears at the end of the video, she said those who signed the verdict that imprisoned her husband had sentenced her to die alone.

Cancer patient Şahin was an employee of the Ayancık Municipality in Sinop province and was dismissed as part of a government purge of members of the Gülen movement which Turkish authorities accuse of being behind a failed coup in July of last year.

Similar to Şahin, her husband, a teacher, was also purged over Gülen links and jailed in August 2016.

Şahin is among hundreds of thousands of people who find themselves facing tremendous difficulties after the government started a desperate crackdown on the Gülen movement in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt.

In an interview in last November, Şahin denied her and her husband’s ties to any terrorist organization or the coup attempt.

“My husband was detained and then arrested by a court [over alleged involvement in the coup attempt.] He is in the 3rdmonth of his arrest. I am a cancer patient at stage 4. Three positive aggressive tumor. The disease was at the third stage but during this period, it passed to 4. It spread to my liver. I am not allowed to move my right hand. My husband used to take care of me. He used to prepare my breakfast, supper. Now, I am trying to survive by the help of my friends, relatives. I have two kids. I go to Samsun for treatment alone. I take medicine at every 21 days. On Monday morning, I was told that I was fired from my job. I am destroyed. I was fired from Ayancık municipality where I worked for 20 years. I don’t know what my crime is. I really don’t know anything. I am still having treatment. I was told I have a right for free treatment for 10 days. But this treatment is going to last at least 1.5-2 years. Because, I was fired with a government decree, they do not give me a green card either. Each session of this treatment is TL 17,000. How am I supposed to find TL 17,000 at every 21 day. I pay TL 900 for rent. I have credit card debts. My husband was sacked and jailed. I am sacked. I only have faith in God. There is nothing else left,” Şahin said.

The Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch. However, the Turkish government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup and thereby initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing the alleged 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.

Gokhan Acikkollu

Gokhan Acikkollu

High School Teacher

Gokhan was detained on July 23, 2016 as part of Turkey’s post-coup crackdown. Although he was suffering from sever diabetes, he was denied access to his medics for six days. After 13 days in custody, Gokhan was found dead in his prison cell on August 5.

Hacı İsa Sezek

Hacı İsa Sezek

83-year old civilian

83-year-old Hacı İsa Sezek, arrested on charges of “membership in an armed organization” on Jan.3, is being kept in the same holding cell with his 29-year-old grandchild Süleyman Sezek.

Mustafa Torer

Mustafa Torer

Businessman

Mustafa was among 45 thousand people in Turkey’s massive post crackdown following the coup attempt. He was taken into Iskenderun jailhouse. Under sever stress and trauma, Mustafa, who had already been suffering of diabetes, died over a heart attack.

Bilal Konakçı

Bilal Konakçı

Bomb Disposal Expert

Bilal Konakçı, a former bomb disposal expert 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 over links to the Gülen movement.

Furkan D.

Furkan D.

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.

5 Kids

5 Kids

5 Kids

A video shared on Jan. 23 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.

Filiz Y.

Filiz Y.

A 30-year-old civilian

Filiz Y., a 30-year-old woman who gave birth at Mersin City Hospital on Feb 6, was detained in the wee hours of Feb. 7 over alleged links to the Gulen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Yavuz Bölek

Yavuz Bölek

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.

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