Man reaches out to Turkish MP saying incarcerated sick wife cannot access proper healthcare

The husband of a critically ill woman serving a sentence for conviction of links to the Gülen movement said his wife did not have access to proper healthcare in prison, the Bold Medya news website reported.

Reaching out to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, Semih Şentürk said his wife, Mehtap Şentürk, was wheel-chair bound and suffered from multiple sclerosis (MS) but that she was not provided proper treatment in prison. He asked that his wife be released or at least put under house arrest.

“My wife is [almost totally] disabled, and she cannot take care of herself because of her disease,” he said. “Every six months she needs a certain medication; however, the prison has neglected this.”

Mehtap Şentürk is too sick to stay in a normal cell; therefore, she is being kept in the prison infirmary. A hospital in Ankara issued a report saying she was fit to remain in prison in early March, although she is unable to use her arms and has to wear a diaper.

Mehtap Şentürk, a science teacher, was sent to Sincan Prison in Ankara after the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a prison sentence of seven years on charges of terrorist organization membership due to her links to the Gülen movement.

Semih Şentürk is also in prison on similar charges. He was sentenced to nine years, nine months in prison.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement 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. Erdoğan intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt in 2016.

In an earlier tweet Gergerlioğlu called on authorities to do their best to ensure Şentürk‘s release from prison.

Turkish authorities have denied political prisoners, even those with critical illnesses, release from prison so they can at least seek proper treatment. Human rights activists and opposition politicians have frequently criticized authorities for not releasing critically ill prisoners.

Lawmaker Gergerlioğlu said ill prisoners were not released until they were at the point of no return. He claimed that prisoners did not have access to proper healthcare facilities such as hospitals and clinics.

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