Thai woman suffers heart attack as Turkish husband under arrest for 15 months over Gülen links

Rana Öztürk, a mother of three children and the wife of Engin Öztürk who has been under arrest for 15 months over alleged ties to the Gülen movement, suffered a heart attack, Turkish media reported on Saturday.

Engin Öztürk, a former employee of the now-defunct International Antalya University, was the sole breadwinner of the Öztürk family until he was put behind bars in Antalya’s Döşemealtı L Type Prison 15 months ago.

Left alone to look after three children, his Thailand origin wife Rana Öztürk had a heart attack a day after Engin was denied request to be released pending trial. Rana Öztürk was dispatched to a nearby hospital where she is now kept under intensive care unit.

A fundraising campaign, organized to cover Rana Öztürk’s medical expenses said the family does not have a health insurance due to Engin Öztür’s dismissal by a government decree under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

“On the way to the hospital, her heart stopped. After working on her for 90 minutes, doctors were able to get her heart working again. She will stay in an induced coma for the next 72 hours. We kindly request your prayers and to contribute with whatever little you can,” campaigners said, adding that her situation is still critical as of Monday.

“The day before the heart attack was the court day for Engin Öztürk and he was not released. Her heart could not resist to the decision,” said a campaigner message.

At least 194 donors have managed to donate $13,998 of the aimed $15,000 for Rana Öztürk’s medical expenses.

Turkish government accuses Gülen movement of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies strongly. Some 130,000 people were detained and 60,000 of them were arrested and put in pre-trial detention since the summer of 2016. Meanwhile, at least 3,008 schools, dormitories and universities were shut down over their alleged affiliation to the Gülen movement. (

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