Mother of inmate on hunger strike demands to see her daughter despite visitation ban

The mother of an inmate who started a hunger strike in December 2021 has demanded to see her ailing daughter, saying the prison administration had imposed a ban on visits, the Duvar news website reported.

Nuray Balaç, the mother of Sibel Balaç, said the prison administration had enforced a 48 month visitation ban. “My daughter’s health is deteriorating by the day, and I need to see her before it’s too late,” she said.

Sibel Balaç is currently incarcerated in Ankara’s Sincan Prison, where she was allegedly subjected to humiliating practices, such as strip-searches. She is a former teacher who participated in the Yüksel Street protests of 2018. Balaç and other former public servants had been protesting human rights violations in Turkey and the purge of public servants after a 2016 coup attempt. They mainly gathered on Ankara’s Yüksel Street, in front of a human rights monument, to demand their jobs back.

Balaç started a hunger strike with another inmate, Gökhan Yıldırım, who is in Tekirdağ F-Type Prison.

Balaç and Yıldırım have demanded fair trials. They have also called for the release of critically ill prisoners and an end to arbitrary disciplinary punishments in prison. The two inmates further requested unlimited access to books and magazines.

The charges against Balaç and Yıldırım were not disclosed; however, both inmates have demanded their release.

Nuray Balaç called on authorities to release her daughter or at least allow visits. “This might be the last time I see her,” she said and added that she had requested to meet with the prison administration but was turned down.

According to Nuray Balaç her daughter can no longer take care of herself and is aided by her cellmates. “She cannot even shower by herself. I received a phone call from her yesterday where she asked if  I could come to see her. I have been trying to reach the prison administration, but they haven’t returned my calls. Why would they do this to a mother? All I want is to see my daughter,” she said.

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