Mother of former sergeant imprisoned on coup charges dies of heart attack

Necla Çelik (49), the mother of former sergeant Mustafa Çelik, who has been imprisoned in Silivri Prison for six years for allegedly aiding and abetting a failed coup in Turkey in July 2016, died on Thursday of a heart attack, the Bold Medya news website reported.

Mustafa Çelik had started his military service in İstanbul shortly before the coup attempt. On the night of the abortive putsch, he received orders from his superiors to go to the Bosporus Bridge along with other soldiers.

He was later arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment for aiding and abetting the coup. However, the Supreme Court of Appeals subsequently overturned the verdict, after which he was sentenced to 12 years, six months in prison.

According to Necla Çelik’s family, she was under stress and upset about her son’s situation. She believed her son was the victim of a great injustice and was constantly waiting for him to be released.

Turkey experienced a controversial military coup attempt on the night of July 15, 2016 which, according to many, was a false flag aimed at entrenching President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s authoritarian rule by rooting out dissidents and eliminating powerful actors such as the military in his desire for absolute power.

The abortive putsch killed 251 people and wounded more than a thousand others. The next morning, after announcing that the coup had been put down, the Turkish government immediately started a huge purge of military officers, judges, police officers, teachers and other government officials, which ultimately led to the summary dismissal of more than 130,000 public servants from their jobs.

Since the failed coup, 29,444 members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have been discharged from the service. A number of privates and military cadets, some as young as 17, were also tried in the coup cases and given life sentences.

Most of the soldiers were made to believe they were taking part in an operation against an anticipated terrorist attack or participating in a counterterrorism drill.

The arrests, mistreatment and long prison sentences following the coup attempt continue to have a psychological impact, affecting the health of family members left behind and sometimes leading to their unexpected deaths.

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