‘My 5-month old son is slowly going blind in prison,’ says jailed mother

Betül Selçuk, a physics teacher who has been held in pretrial detention for almost 11 months over alleged links to the Gülen movement, has told her lawyer that her 5-month-old son, Mehmet Selim, is slowly going blind in prison due to overheating and unhygienic conditions, the Haberdar news website reported.

“Extremely high temperatures and unsanitary conditions in the prison caused an infection. He cries all the time, and this makes the situation way worse. He was taken to an eye doctor at Tarsus State Hospital, and the doctor said my son is experiencing a loss of vision. He needs immediate treatment,” the mother said.

Betül Selçuk and her husband Abdurrahman Selçuk were arrested over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. As a result their son, Mehmet Selim, has been staying with his mother in Tarsus prison for months.

Hundreds of human tragedies in Turkey have been reported to date. According to recent data released by the Ministry of Justice, more than 6,000 women are held in penal institutions, constituting around 9 percent of the total prison population in Turkey.

A total of 2,258 of them are mothers, of whom 520 are obliged to raise their 0 to 6-year-old children in prison.
A witch-hunt started by the Turkish government in the aftermath of the coup attempt on July 15, 2016 against people affiliated with the Gülen movement has done nothing but cause more tragedies for mothers with children.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch 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’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. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

 

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