Paralyzed woman arrested on Gülen links suffers epileptic seizure in prison

Şerife Sulukan, 45, a paralyzed woman arrested on Gülen charges, suffered an epileptic seizure in prison last week, Bold Medya news website reported.

According to her family, Sulukan had never experienced a seizure before. She was supposed to be taking supplements to support her treatment but she currently cannot in prison. They believe this is why Sulukan experienced a seizure.

In a recent letter to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, Sulukan said she did not have access to proper healthcare or good nutrition in prison, which set back her treatment.

“There is no physiotherapist in prison, and I am supposed to have heart surgery, but I can’t at the moment,” she said. “My health is not going to improve here but will instead get worse.”

Sulukan, a former teacher who has been suffering from paralysis for more than a year, was sent to prison in early May after the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a six year, three month prison sentence due to her affiliation with the movement.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following an abortive putsch on July 15, 2016.

There have even been cases when women arrested on Gülen links died in jail after they were denied critical medication by the prison authorities or when women were sent to jail immediately after delivery with their newborns, contrary to the law.

Turkey’s women rights organizations and opposition parties are criticized for turning a blind eye to the plight of these women and not raising their voices against their imprisonment on what many say are politically motivated charges.

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