Disabled 86-year-old hospitalized soon after being imprisoned over Gülen links

An elderly man who is almost totally disabled was hospitalized soon after being sent to prison to serve his 10-year sentence over links to the faith-based Gülen movement, Turkish Minute reported on Monday.

Even the most basic needs of 86-year-old Mustafa Said Türk, who suffered a brain hemorrhage and became paralyzed and bedridden in 2018, were being taken care of by two professional caregivers at home before he was sent to prison.

His family told the Kronos news website last week that Türk had two brain hemorrhages in the last five years, suffered a heart attack last year and had a stent implanted for his heart, in addition to receiving four insulin injections a day.

Türk’s 10-year sentence was recently upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeals. Although his lawyer requested a stay of execution of the sentence, citing old age and severe illness, it was denied by the Manisa 3rd High Criminal Court. His lawyers then appealed the decision at the Manisa 4th High Criminal Court, which upheld the lower court’s ruling.

According to Bold Medya, Türk was taken to the prison on Monday but was sent to the hospital shortly thereafter due to poor health.

Türk was arrested following an attempted coup on July 15, 2016 and served 18 months in Manisa Type T Prison.

Bülent Arınç, former deputy prime minister from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and former parliamentary speaker who is a close friend of the Türk family, said when Mustafa Said Türk was arrested in 2016 that he had known him for 40 years and that he is a philanthropist who supported educational activities.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement, inspired by the views of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, of masterminding the failed coup in 2016, and labels it as a terrorist organization. Gülen and his movement strongly deny any involvement in the failed putsch and any terrorist activity.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.

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