Jailed mother reunites with son suffering from cancer for half a day

Inmate Gülten Sayın, the mother of 6-year-old Yusuf Kerim Sayın, who is suffering from bone cancer, was allowed to visit her son in the hospital for the second time for half a day on Wednesday.

Sayın was arrested on December 16 to serve a prison sentence on conviction of links to the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of being a “terrorist” organization.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy and human rights defender Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu announced on Twitter that “Yusuf Kerim’s mother went to see him tonight …. Since the Ministry of Justice did not take steps to release Sayın, she once again had to leave before 23:00. This child needs a permanent law that will release his mother, not a smile for one night.”

Gergerlioğlu, a medical doctor by profession, previously said Ewing’s sarcoma, which Yusuf Kerim was diagnosed with, is one of the deadliest of cancers and that Yusuf Kerim might die while his mother is in prison.

Sayın was sentenced to six years, three months for working at a student dormitory in the northwestern province of Sakarya that the government subsequently closed down because of alleged ties to the Gülen movement. She was also accused of depositing money in Bank Asya, which was shuttered by the government after the coup attempt because of its links to the movement.

According to Turkish media reports, Yusuf Kerim doesn’t know that his mother is behind bars and was told that she was being treated at another hospital.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following an abortive putsch that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

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