Turkish authorities deny inmate battling cancer for 7 years release from prison

Adnan Yalçın, 60, who has been battling cancer for seven years, has been denied release from prison so he can seek proper treatment, the Mezopotamya news agency (MA) reported.

Yalçın, who has been in prison for the last 26 years, has multiple health problems in addition to his cancer. He has not been able to walk without support since 2005 due to two separate hernias in his hip and cervical disc. Yalçın also had a heart attack during an operation and suffers from high blood pressure and Hepatitis B.

According to Yalçın’s brother, Fuat Yalçın, the doctors said he could not remain in prison with so many health problems.

“We have appealed to the Ministry of Justice several times with the help of our lawyer and the Human Rights Association (İHD); however, we have never received a positive response,” he said.

Fuat Yalçın said his brother’s disease appeared to be in its last phase. “During my last visit I saw that he looked awful. He does not get the necessary treatment or the medication he needs,” said Fuat Yalçın.

Fuat Yalçın also called for Turkish authorities to release all critically sick inmates.

Critics have slammed Turkish authorities for refusing to release critically ill prisoners.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a human rights activist and former deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said critically ill political prisoners were not released from prison “until it reaches the point of no return.” He depicted the deaths of seriously ill prisoners in Turkey who are not released in time to receive proper medical treatment as acts of “murder” committed by the state.

According to the Human Rights Association (İHD), there are more than 1,605 sick prisoners in Turkish prisons, approximately 604 of whom are critically ill. Although most of the seriously ill patients have forensic and medical reports deeming them unfit to remain in prison, they are not released. Authorities refuse to release them on the grounds that they pose a potential danger to society. In the first eight months of 2020, five critically ill prisoners passed away because they were not released in time to receive proper medical treatment.

Since April four seriously ill prisoners over the age of 70 have died in penal institutions; five inmates suffering from cancer died shortly after they were released; and 16 died of chronic illnesses while imprisoned.

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