Stage 4 cancer patient begs for release of her jailed husband

Turkey-purge victim Nurdan Şahin shows a photo taken with President Erdoğan when she was working as an employee of Ayancık Municipality.

Nurdan Şahin, who is a stage four cancer patient whose husband was jailed over links to the faith-based Gülen movement last August, called on prosecutors to release her husband and begged them to let them live together in the last days of her life.

In a video that was widely shared on the Internet over the weekend, Şahin explained about her visits to the Sinop Public Prosecutor’s Office where she begged prosecutors to release her husband on judicial supervision under which he could check in every day at a police station and be with her in the last days of her life.

“I go to the prosecutor’s office every week and beg them, ‘Please I need my husband.’ I tell them, ‘Please, he can come [to the police station] every day to check in, he has no place to escape, he is not even guilty.’ He can sign in every day. But I just want him beside me. Is it too difficult [to release him]? Please, I am begging,” Şahin said.

Underlining that she might not have long to live because of the cancer, she said she would be the happiest person in the world if her husband were to be released and could be with her during her last days.

While addressing prosecutors in the video, Şahin asked “Are they in good conscience able to sleep when they go to bed at night and put their head on the pillow?”

Breaking into tears at the end of the video, she said those who signed the verdict that imprisoned her husband had sentenced her to die alone.

Cancer patient Şahin was an employee of the Ayancık Municipality in Sinop province and was dismissed as part of a government purge of members of the Gülen movement which Turkish authorities accuse of being behind a failed coup in July of last year.

Similar to Şahin, her husband, a teacher, was also purged over Gülen links and jailed in August 2016.

Şahin is among hundreds of thousands of people who find themselves facing tremendous difficulties after the government started a desperate crackdown on the Gülen movement in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt.

In an interview in last November, Şahin denied her and her husband’s ties to any terrorist organization or the coup attempt.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip 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.

In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention. ( March 17, 2017

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