Autopsy reveals significant negligence in death of jailed Turkish teacher: opposition deputy

Halime Gülsu

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy and human rights activist Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu tweeted on January 14, 2019 that negligence was involved in the death of a jailed teacher since she was deprived by prison authorities of critical medication.

The deputy brought up the April 2018 death of purged and jailed teacher Halime Gülsu after he obtained access to the autopsy report of the woman, who was kept in jail despite serious health problems.

Gergerlioğlu, who is also a medical doctor, said the autopsy revealed significant negligence because eight days before her death, the teacher requested her medication but was denied it.

Gergerlioğlu said there had been no action by the prosecutor despite complaints from the teacher prior to her death about the prison authorities, who denied her access to medication and treatment.

Gülsu, who was arrested on February 20, 2018 along with dozens of other women for allegedly helping the families of people who were jailed over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, died in prison in Mersin province on February 28, 2018. She was suffering from lupus erythematosus and was reportedly deprived of the medication she took for this disease while in jail.

The torture, ill-treatment, abusive, inhuman and degrading treatment of people who are deprived of their liberties in Turkey’s detention centers and prisons have become the norm rather than the exception under increased nationalistic euphoria and religious zealotry in the country in the wake of a coup attempt in July 2016.

The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) reported in one of its studies titled “Suspicious Deaths and Suicides In Turkey” that there has been an increase in the number of suspicious deaths in Turkey, most in jails and detention centers, where torture and ill-treatment are being practiced. In the majority of cases, authorities concluded they were suicides without any effective, independent investigation.
Suspicious deaths have also taken place beyond prison walls amid psychological pressure and threats of imminent imprisonment and torture, sometimes following the release of suspects or just before their detention. SCF has compiled 125 cases of suspicious deaths and suicides in Turkey in a list in a searchable database format. (SCF, turkishminute.com)

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