Mother of three released after giving testimony in Turkey

Yasemin Özkan and her newly born baby.

Yasemin Özkan, who gave birth to her third child last week by C-section and was served with a detention warrant immediately afterwards, was released after testifying to a Bakırköy court on Monday.

According to reports, a group of police officers waited outside the private Hizmet Hospital in İstanbul’s Bahçelievler district in order to detain Özkan on Friday.

Özkan faced a detention warrant as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuse of masterminding a July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Özkan was released after giving her testimony in a Bakırköy court to which she was taken after being discharged from the hospital.

This is not the first detention of a woman immediately after delivery.

In June, teacher Esra Demir was detained a day after giving birth in Batman as part of the witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement.

In May, Aysun Aydemir, an English teacher who gave birth to a baby in a Cesarean procedure, was detained at the hospital for links to the Gülen movement and subsequently arrested by a court and put in pretrial detention with a three-day-old baby in Zonguldak province.

In late January, Fadime Günay, who had just given birth, was detained by police at Antalya’s Alanya Başkent Hospital as part of the same witch-hunt.

In early January, Ş.A., a former private school teacher and mother of a week-old premature infant, was taken into police custody over links to the movement while she was on her way to the hospital to feed the baby.

A day after Ş.A. was taken into police custody, another mother known as Meryem gave birth to twins by C-section at a hospital in Konya and was detained by police despite doctors’ reports that she should not travel and was taken to Aksaray from Konya in a police car.

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.

According to recent data released by the Ministry of Justice, more than 2,250 mothers are held in penal institutions, of whom 520 are obliged to raise their 0 to 6-year-old children in prison. (SCF with turkishminute.com) July 17, 2017

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