4-year-old starts seeing psychologist after mother’s arrest

The 4-year-old daughter of a woman who was arrested for alleged links to the Gülen movement has started to receive psychological help after developing anxiety and social problems, the Tr724 news website reported.

Rana Uzunkaya was left to the care of her grandmother after her mother, Büşra Uzunkaya, was arrested on February 22. According to a medical report the young girl had difficulty communicating with others, was prone to outbursts of anger and could not concentrate on daily tasks.

Unable to understand where her mother was, Rana became an increasingly restless child after the arrest.

Sezgin Tanrikulu, a deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said separating children from their mothers was inhumane and had to immediately stop. “When are authorities going to put an end to the arbitrary arrest of mothers?” he said. “Children like young Rana are suffering without their mothers.”

 

Uzunkaya is currently in a prison in western Edirne province, although the charges against her have not been disclosed.

Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government launched a war against the Gülen movement, a worldwide civic initiative inspired by the ideas of Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, after the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013 that implicated then-prime minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s family members and inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy, the AKP government designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. They intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that they accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

The Turkish government accepted such daily activities as having an account at or depositing money in a Gülen movement-affiliated bank, working at any institution linked to the movement or subscribing to certain newspapers and magazines as benchmarks for identifying and arresting tens of thousands alleged members of the movement on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

The purge has damaged the unity of many families and left children to the care of relatives. Such separations have had a negative impact on the mental and physical well-being of children. In cases where grandparents are responsible of the child’s care, they cannot meet every need, especially in education.

According to a statement by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, as of November 15, 2021 a total of 319,587 people had been detained and 99,962 arrested in operations against supporters of the Gülen movement since the coup attempt.

Take a second to support Stockholm Center for Freedom on Patreon!