Yusuf Özmen, a stage-4 cancer patient who has been in Erzurum H Type State prison for over two years, has repeatedly been denied release from prison on probation, despite health reports attesting to his poor health.

According to journalist Sevinç Özarslan, Özmen suffers from stage-4 cancer and he has medical reports from six different hospitals, proving that he is not fit to remain in prison. However, the Institute of Forensic Medicine issued a contrary health report to allow the continuation of his imprisonment.

The purge-victim man has been staying at a prison in Erzurum, a city in eastern Anatolia. He is accused of having membership in the Gulen group, which the government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt in 2016.

The group denies any involvement.

The purge 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.