Turkey launches probe into dismissed protestor’s 70-year-old mother

The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into 7 people, including Kezban Şaçılık, the mother Veli Saçılık who is activist and a sociologist who was dismissed from his post with a government decree under the rule emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, on charges for opposing the “law on meetings and demonstration.”

The seven people, including his mother Kezban Saçılık, had supported Veli Saçılık’s protest on June 13, 2017 demanding to be returned to his job in Ankara and the two jailed educators, Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça who have been on hunger strike, to be released from jail.

Kezban Saçılık told Hürriyet daily that “They [the police] knocked Veli on the ground. Then they all attacked him. After Veli fell to the floor, I was going to intervene and cover him to protect him from getting beat up, but at that moment, one of the police officers turned to me and sprayed tear gas in my eyes. I could not open my eyes and fell to the floor. They also hit me on the head,” she said.

Veli Saçılık lost his arm in 2000, 3 years after being arrested in a workers’ union demonstration, in a gendarmerie operation known as “Operation Return to Life” conducted in 20 prisons across Turkey. The move was to end hunger strikes staged by inmates in protest of newly built prisons with solitary confinement cells.

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