Journalist Kaya accused of being ‘Gülenist’ by ex-husband in prison for 10 months

Journalist Tuba Kaya

Tuba Kaya, a 27-year-old reporter from the now-closed Zaman daily, was arrested on Sept. 19, 2016 after her ex-husband lodged a complaint claiming that she was a member of the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Kaya, who is in the 10th month of her arrest, is a mother of a two-year old kid.

Kronos.news news portal published a letter sent by Kaya to her journalist friend Sevinç Özarslan, one of the portal’s reporters, in which she said she is allowed to see her daughter only once in a month.

According to the report, she filed a divorce case after she was subjected to violence, and the husband in return informed her to police on for alleged membership in a “terrorist organization.”

“The most sensitive issue here is mothership. It is already difficult for women to live in such a place. The longing for our kids unbearable. We do not know if there is any other investigation as part of which this many women were put under arrest. I am staying with teachers, doctors, academics, nurses and many others,” Kaya stated in her letter.

Kaya also said in her letter that she misses her baby more than anything.

“Last month a pregnant woman came here. There were no beds for her. I gave her mine so she could rest. I sleep on the floor now. We thought she was going to give birth here in prison, as it took a month [for the prison management] to decide [to send her to a hospital]. I don’t understand why this is necessary.”

“I am neither the first nor the last person to be thrown into jail unjustly. […] I hope that all this will go away as if I am waking up from a bad nightmare. Do not worry. I am enjoying good health. What is worse, my family is ruined. I am hoping that your praying exhilarates them.”

More than 17,000 women in Turkey, many with small children, have been jailed in an unprecedented crackdown and subjected to torture and ill-treatment in detention centers and prisons as part of the government’s systematic campaign of intimidation and persecution of critics and opponents, a report titled “Jailing Women In Turkey: Systematic Campaign of Persecution and Fear” released in April by SCF has revealed.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world. The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 264 journalists are now in jails as of June 16, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 240 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 105 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt.

A controversial military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah 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.

At least 161,751 people were detained or investigated and 50,334 people were arrested in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to statistics reported by state-run Anadolu news agency by basing on information taken from the officials from Turkey’s Justice Minsitry on June 13. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) June 19, 2017

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