Gülen’s 63-year-old disabled cousin put into solitary confinement by Turkish authorities

Kazım Avcı, a 63-year-old disabled cousin of US-based Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen has reportedly been put into solitary confinement in Ankara’s Sincan F1 Prison where he has been kept jailed for two years.

According to information shared by his lawyer, Teoman Özkan, on his twitter account, 63-year-old Kazım Avcı has lost his left leg because of an accident during the years of his childhood and he has been disabled 68 percent. 

Lawyer Özkan has stated that because of his use of permanent prosthesis, his spinal system has also been damaged and he had to undergone severe hernia surgery two times. Since he has to use a stick when he needs to walk it is difficult for Avcı to meet his personal needs like going to toilet or having dusch. And he can not clean his room.

His lawyer added that although Avcı needs help of someone else in order to meet most of his needs, he has been put into solitary confinement two weeks ago after two years of normal detention on the grounds that “he is a dangerous prisoner.” His allowance to have fresh air has also been dropped to an hour and his television was taken away.

Lawyer Özkan has also stated that since Avcı could not clean his prison cell, where he is kept alone, the cockroaches began to circulate in the room and bad odors appeared. Özkan said that “The imprisonment consists of penalty of restricting the freedom of people with a certain level. If it has started to violate the right to life, its name is not imprisonment anymore, but a torture. We want this torture to be terminated as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, Fethullah Gülen’s nephew Tavus Bin Keysan Gülen was also detained on Saturday as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement. Detained in İstanbul’s Ümraniye district, Gülen’s nephew was transferred to Sakarya province for interrogation.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

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 them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister had announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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