Ahmet Dizlek, an imprisoned cancer patient from Kocaeli province, has reportedly been sent back to prison only six days after a surgery in which his entire stomach was removed.

According to Turkish journalist Sevinç Özarslan, Dizlek had the surgery some five months ago. He has been staying in the Kandıra prison ever since. The purge-victim man is being denied access to medical care as well as a date for tomography.

The Turkey’s purge, which started in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in 2016, has resulted in a drastic increase of political prisoners in Turkish prisons, some of whom are severely ill.

According to the Human Rights Association (İHD), there are more than 1,605 sick prisoners in Turkish prisons, approximately 604 of whom are critically ill. Although most of the seriously ill patients have forensic and medical reports deeming them unfit to remain in prison, they are not released. Authorities refuse to release them on the grounds that they pose a potential danger to society. In the first eight months of 2020, five critically ill prisoners passed away because they were not released in time to receive proper medical treatment.

Since April 2020, four seriously ill prisoners over the age of 70 have died in penal institutions; five inmates suffering from cancer died shortly after they were released; and 16 died of chronic illnesses while imprisoned.