Dismissed police officer disabled in workplace accident suffers both physically and psychologically in prison, wife says

Former police officer Mustafa Aydın, an inmate who lost six fingers in an industrial accident after he was fired from his law enforcement job and later arrested, suffers both physically and psychologically in prison, according to his wife, Bold Medya reported.

Following a failed coup on July 15, 2016, 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, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces 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.

Speaking to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, Aydın’s wife, Fadimana Aydın, Aydın, who was who was fired by an emergency decree as part of Turkey’s post-coup purge of state institutions, had many jobs after he lost his job in July 2017, including working as a janitor and a caregiver for the sick and elderly. Then he found a job at a metal factory in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep, where he lost six fingers in September 2021. Following the accident, his body developed multiple complications that affected Aydın’s overall health.

Aydın was arrested and sentenced to six years, 10 months in prison in April 2022 for attending religious gatherings known as “sohbet/halaqa” in 2009.

“Sohbet/halaqa” are one type of gathering associated with the Gülen movement. Since a coup attempt in 2016, participation in these gatherings has been considered a crime by the Turkish government as it is indicative of a connection to the movement.

Aydın’s wife said he had been unable to see a doctor to continue his treatment since he was arrested. She also stated that, due to the poor prison conditions and uncertainty about his health, Aydın is taking anti-depressants and is not doing well physically or psychologically.

Fadimana Aydın, a former police officer herself and a mother of two, was also dismissed by an emergency decree on November 22, 2016 and detained on December 28, 2016, when she was four months pregnant. Aydın, who was detained at the police station where she worked in Ankara, was hospitalized when she fell ill with hypertension while in custody. The former policewoman, who appeared before a judge on a detention warrant, was released under judicial supervision due to her high-risk pregnancy.

“If the justice that is applied to us is applied to all people in Turkey, there will be no more free people on the outside,” she said, adding that the psychological situation of her children is not good at all and that they are going through very difficult times as a family.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu also recently stated that there were close to 1,600 sick prisoners in Turkey, of whom 600 were seriously ill. He addressed Turkey’s Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK) and asked them to observe medical ethics and to be more conscientious when issuing reports since they could cause the death of ailing inmates.

Turkey’s former public servants were not only fired from their jobs after the attempted coup in 2016; they were also prohibited from working again in the public sector and getting a passport. The government also made it difficult for them to work formally in the private sector. Notes were put on the social security database about dismissed public servants to deter potential employers.

According to a joint report by the Justice for Victims Platform and HDP lawmaker and rights defender Gergerlioğlu, the two-year-long state of emergency declared after the failed putsch caused immense suffering among public servants who were dismissed from their jobs by the government as well as their families.

The biggest problem they have been facing is economic hardship (97.9 percent) followed by psychological problems (88.6 percent), loss of social prestige and social exclusion (83.7 percent), the disintegration of social circles (83.1 percent), unemployment/lack of employment (80.4 percent) and lack of social security (73.2 percent).

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