82-year-old inmate left to die in Turkish prison, daughter claims

Sıddık Güler, 82, who suffers from high blood pressure and rheumatism and is unable to walk, has been left to die in Turkish prison, his daughter Ayşe said, according to the Mezopotamya news agency.

Sıddık Güler has been in prison for the last 27 years, and Turkish authorities have denied his release from prison despite his age and multiple health problems.

He was transferred to a prison in western İzmir province two months ago and has been held in a one-person cell since then.

His daughter Ayşe said Sıddık Güler could walk only with help and needs constant care. She has appealed to authorities for the release of her father so he can receive proper care.

Human rights activists and opposition politicians have frequently criticized authorities for not releasing critically ill prisoners so they can seek proper treatment.

Human rights defender and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu previously said critically ill political prisoners were not released from prison “until it reaches the point of no return.” He depicted the deaths of seriously ill prisoners in Turkey who are not released in time to receive proper medical treatment as acts of “murder” committed by the state.

According to the most recent statistics published by the Human Rights Association (İHD), the number of sick prisoners is in the thousands, more than 600 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 free them on the grounds that they pose a potential danger to society.

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