Teacher detained just after giving birth, handcuffed to bed at hospital by Turkish police

Zara Koc (L) and Fatma Öztürk.

Turkish teacher Fatma Öztürk was detained just after she gave birth to her baby at Ege Umut Hospital in Manisa’s Turgutlu district while police handcuffed her to a bed she is resting on, Turkey Purge reported on Sunday. It was reported that police detained tecaher Öztürk over her alleged links to the Gülen movement.

According to an anonymous tip submitted to magduriyetler.com, police raided Ege Umut Hospital in Turgutlu and handcuffed Öztürk to the bed just after she delivered her baby. The tip said police is awaiting at hospital entrance and that mother and baby’s health condition remain serious. “There is no chance of getting a lawyer,” the tip also underlined.

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu by referring to Öztürk and criticized the detention of mothers with newborn babies in a social media message on Sunday. Tanrıkulu asked to end the violence against these mothers by tagging Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Meanwhile, another mother Zara Koç, a cardiac patient who is expecting her new baby anytime was detained on July 3 and has been under police custody since then, according to Turkish media. 9-month-pregnant Koç, who is suffering from labor pains and is deprived of a doctor, was detained along with 12 others in police operations.

While the charges raised against Koç are still unknown, her mother-in-law Vahide Koç told media that “The only reason they rounded up her is just because we are Kurdish origins.”

Teacher Fatma Öztürk is not the first mother to face detention immediately after delivery. Hatice Avan, Havva Hamamcıoğlu, Nazlı Mert, Esra Demir, Aysun Aydemir, Elif Aslaner and Fadime Günay are only some of the women who also faced detention shortly after delivery as part of the post-coup witch-hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

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.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (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 participants of the Gülen movement in jails.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings (investigations, detentions etc.) in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Also, arrest warrants have been issued for 8,069 people, according to Bozdağ. (SCF with turkeypurge.com & turkishminute.com) July 9, 2017

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