Disabled teacher arrested in nationwide operation against Gülen movement

A disabled former teacher was recently arrested after being detained in a nationwide police operation against the Gülen movement, the Kronos news website reported.

Former history teacher Mustafa Seçkin, who is almost totally blind, was arrested in eastern Turkey’s Elazığ province after being detained on October 24. His arrest was made public on Monday by his daughter Irem Seçkin, who said her father was interrogated about a social media post. 

Seçkin had shared a prayer on social media that had previously been recited by a friend whose son had died by suicide. The teenage boy, Bahadır Odabaşı, had thrown himself from the 10th story of his apartment building due to depression caused by the situation of his father, a former teacher who was fired from his job by an emergency decree and arrested on terrorism-related charges after a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The teenager, whose father has been in prison for the past four years, lapsed into depression and took his own life.

The Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, is accused by the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of masterminding the failed coup and is labeled a “terrorist organization,” although the movement denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Irem Seçkin said the family was worried about Seçkin’s general well-being in prison. “According to doctors, my father will completely lose his eyesight in five years. He can barely take care of himself at the moment,” she said.

This is the second time Seçkin has been arrested on Gülen charges. He was first arrested in 2018 and sentenced to one year, three months for working and sending his children to a private school linked to the movement. 

According to the Justice Ministry, a total of 117,208 people have been convicted, while more than 600,000 have been the subject of investigation in Turkey due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt. Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç earlier said 15,539 inmates are still behind bars over alleged Gülen links.

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