Dilem Köknar and Ayça Gökçaylar, two Turkish women who are affiliated with Turkey’s Adnan Oktar religious community, have been held in prison for over 15 months as part of an ongoing terrorism investigation despite being diagnosed with cancer and multiple sclerosis, or MS.
.According to a Twitter account, Gökçaylar has a stage 4 brain tumor and lost sight in left eye. Köknar has Multiple sclerosis that affects her brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in her eyes.
Many cancer patients died in Turkish prisons in the past two years. Tacettin Toprak, 36, is the latest of them.
An İstanbul court in July 2018 sent Turkish televangelist Adnan Oktar to prison over various accusations ranging from “child abuse” to “forming a criminal organization.”
Oktarist man had brain hemorrhage in prison
Hulusi Gökmenli, a Turkish man who has been held in prison for over 15 months as part of an investigation into the Adnan Oktar community, has recently had a brain hemorrhage in prison.
According to a pro-Adnan Oktar twitter account, Görkemli also suffers from hypertension and thus remains at risk of another brain hemorrhage due to a possible rupture. Despite medical reports recommending urgent treatment, he is refused hospital treatment by Turkish authorities.
On July 11, 2018, Turkish prosecutors issued detention warrants for Mr Oktar and 235 of his followers in Ankara, Muğla, Antalya and İstanbul, where 235 locations were raided later the same day, resulting in the detention of 166 people, 106 of whom are women.
Mr. Oktar blamed the “British deep state” over his arrest.
After spending almost a week in police custody, an İstanbul court put him in pre-trial detention on July 19, 2018. Mr Oktar and some of his followers were taken to İstanbul’s Silivri Prison.
Speaking to the Cumhuriyet daily after the launch of the operation, Oktar said he and his followers supported the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the elections held on June 24; hence, he was surprised to see that they were the targets of such an operation.
“We are people who are loyal to their homeland and the nation. At a time when operations should be conducted against the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party] and enemies of the homeland and the nation, they are carried out against us. I think neither Mr. Erdoğan nor the interior minister has knowledge about this operation. I am not offended [at them], but I am surprised,” said Oktar.
3 innocent friends of Mr. #AdnanOktar who are suffering in prison for 15 months are critically ill. Ayça Gökçaylar has brain tumor, Dilem Köknar has MS, Hulusi Gökmenli is struggling with the risk of brain hemorrhage and high blood pressure. They need to be hospitalized urgently. pic.twitter.com/b4pwhuKfZS
— Naz Sharif (@NaziaSharif_) October 4, 2019
Turkish prosecutors are accusing Oktar and his followers of the following crimes:
“Forming a criminal organization, sexual abuse of children, sexual assault, child kidnapping, sexual harassment, blackmailing, false imprisonment, political and military espionage, fraud by exploiting religious feelings, money laundering, violation of privacy, forgery of official documents, opposition to anti-terror law, coercion, use of violence, slander, alienating citizens from mandatory military service, insulting, false incrimination, perjury, aggravated fraud, smuggling, tax evasion, bribery, torture, illegal recording of personal data, violating the law on the protection of family and women, and violating a citizen’s rights to get education and participate in politics.”
The group denies the charges.