Mother of 6 under arrest as police fail to locate husband suspected of Gülen links

Meryem Şentürk, a Zonguldak woman and a mother of six, was arrested by a local court after police failed to locate his husband who has been under investigation over his alleged links to the Gülen movement on July 19.

According to a report by Aktifhaber news portal, Şentürk was detained and put in pre-trial arrest in Beycuma prison in Zonguldak before being transferred to Düzce prison after three days.

Şentürk was arrested only because, Aktifhaber claimed, police were not able to reach his husband. “If your husband surrenders himself to police, we’ll release you in just half an hour,” she was reportedly told during interrogation. One of Senturk’s children is a diabetic patient and needs diligent care at home, Aktifhaber said.

It has become a common occurrence in the recent past that law enforcement often go after relatives when they fail to locate actual suspects. 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 survived a controversial coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) July 26, 2017

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