Ayşe Şeyma Taş, the sister-in-law of Ahmet Turan Özcerit, a computer science professor who died of cancer in Feb. 2018 after spending some 13 months under arrest on coup charges, has been sent to prison with her 25-day-old baby on similar charges, according to the Kronos news portal.
According to a tweet by Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a deputy of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Taş and her 25-day-old baby was sent to a prison in Sakarya’s Ferizli district on November 11, 2018. They have been held in the same prison since then.
“This is a cruel, and a violation of all the laws. The judge [who ruled for the arrest] scolded the woman by saying that ‘Why did you deliver the baby?,” Gergerlioğlu tweeted.
Professor Özcerit was arrested as part of a Sakarya-based investigation into Turkey’s Gülen movement on Aug. 8, 2016 and was sacked from the university on Sept 1, 2016 with a post-coup emergency decree, numbered 672.
While under pretrial detention, Özcerit made the headlines when he was diagnosed with cancer in his liver and intestines. His son Sinan Özcerit has regularly shared updates regarding his father’s time in prison and about the academic’s ultimate release from prison to a hospital.
“After he was arrested, my father first put in a prison in Sakarya and the transferred to Bandırma prison. During this time the pain in his stomach got worse and he sent a petition to the prison management, asking to see a doctor. He was told that some 200 arrestees were waiting to see the doctor and therefore he had to wait. In several weeks, he got so much worse and lost around 15 kilograms. He eventually lost his consciousness. When they finally saw that he was in a critical situation, the prison management brought him to Bandırma hospital and then transferred him to İzmir,” the son told the news portal.
On Feb 12, the son announced that Özcerit passed away. “He will be buried in Ankara’s Karsiyaka cemetery,” he tweeted.
Özcerit obtained his master and PhD diplomas from the UK’s Sussex University before he started working at Sakarya University’s Faculty of Computer and Information Science. He was an associate professor at Sakarya University when the government dismissed him from the office over ties to the Gulen movement on Sep 1, 2016.
Turkish government accuses the Gulen movement of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies involvement. More than 150,000 people have lost their jobs while more than 60,000 have been put in pre-trial detention over links to the movement so far.