Prize-winning novelist and journalist Aslı Erdoğan who was arrested last week for alleged links with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has said she is being treated in a way in prison that could give permanent damage to her body.
“They have not given me my medicine for 5 days. I am diabetic and my disease is about to worsen. I have to have a special diet but I can just eat yogurt…. They are treating me in a way that could give permanent damage to my body. If I had not resisted with determination, I would never withstand these conditions,” said Erdoğan who has been staying in a cell in Bakırköy Women’s Prison since her arrest on Aug. 19.
Erdoğan, a member of the pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem daily’s advisory board, was sent to jail on charges of “membership of a terrorist organization” and “undermining national unity.”
Police raided Özgür Gündem’s building, which has been repeatedly closed down in the past, on Aug. 16. The daily was then closed temporarily.
Erdoğan answered questions from a Cumhuriyet daily reporter through her lawyer.
The author said she is being made to use a bed with urine stains and she has never been allowed to use the open air part of the prison where inmates are allowed for a certain time in a day to get some fresh air.
Erdoğan said although authors like to be in a silent place and alone, she wants to be moved to the part of the prison for political prisoners due to the harsh conditions she has been exposed to in the cell.
Reports say thousands of people who were arrested following a foiled military coup on July 15, are being subjected to maltreatment and even torture in prison. There is currently a state of emergency in Turkey which was declared in the aftermath of the coup attempt.
Aslı Erdoğan plans to have a tattoo applied on her left wrist after she is released from prison recalling a forced practice of Nazis to women members of Auschwitz concentration camp.
“The tattoo will be the date of the police raid to my home: 16.08.16”
102 journalists are currently under arrest or in custody in Turkey, Pen International reported last week. Out of the 79 arrests in total, 46 arrests have been made since the coup attempt and 33 journalists have been under arrest before the coup.