75-year-old woman convicted of sending money to inmates taken to prison on stretcher

Hatice Yıldız, an ailing 75-year-old woman who had been sentenced to four years on charges of “financing a terrorist organization” because she sent money to her jailed daughter and her cellmate, was taken to an İstanbul prison on a stretcher on Friday, Turkish Minute reported.

MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu announced Yıldız’s imprisonment on X with an a comment to Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç.

Yıldız, who suffers from high blood pressure, eye problems, a herniated disk and scoliosis, was sent to prison after the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the verdict of İstanbul’s 14th High Criminal Court.

The case against Yıldız was initiated on charges of “financing a terrorist organization” after she was found to have sent money to her daughter, who is currently imprisoned, and her daughter’s cellmate, according to Turkish media reports. This led to a three-year trial, at the end of which she was convicted and sentenced.

The reason for her daughter’s incarceration was not mentioned in the Turkish media reports, but Yıldız’s verdict indicates that her daughter was convicted of “terrorism.”

Turkey’s anti-terror legislation is widely criticized for being too broad and leaving too much room for interpretation and used against political opponents of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

Yıldız was first taken to a hospital and then to the courthouse before being transported to Bakırköy Women’s Prison.

Alper Yıldız, her son, told reporters that his mother did nothing more than send money to prisoners, which has never been classified as a crime under Turkish law. He said the money transfers were made through official postal services, which are now criminalized.

The family announced that they would appeal to the Constitutional Court to obtain justice and reverse what they consider to be an unjust ruling.

Gergerlioğlu has time and again criticized the government’s treatment of elderly and sick prisoners.

In recent years the Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK), the agency consulted for its medical expertise in the cases of sick prisoners, has been accused of issuing questionable reports that found ailing inmates fit to remain behind bars. Prominent Turkish human rights advocates have accused the institution of having lost all independence from the government.

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