86-year-old man in 11th month of arrest on coup charges in Turkey’s Isparta

Ali Osman Karahan, an 86-year-old Turkish man with walking and speaking difficulties, has been kept in an Isparta prison for almost 12 months over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which Turkish authorities accuse of being behind a failed coup attempt in July 15 of last year.

Video footage, posted by Karahan’s grandson on Twitter, shows the moment a plainclothes policeman walks Karahan into a building where he was to testify before a judge. Karahan is accused of being a member of the Gülen movement.

According to the grandson’s tweets, Karahan was arrested by an Isparta court after the failed coup on July 15, 2016 and was sent to a prison in Isparta’s Yalvaç district. Karahan has advanced-stage prostate cancer and has only one kidney.

Turkey survived a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

At least 161,751 people were detained or investigated and 50,334 people were arrested in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to statistics reported by state-run Anadolu news agency by basing on information taken from the officials from Turkey’s Justice Ministry on June 13. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) June 30, 2017

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