Turkish gov’t transfers detained woman, newborn baby to prison 1,291 km away from home

Detained in the southern province of Isparta as part of a post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement, a woman, identified with initials Ö.A., has been transferred to a prison in Siirt, an eastern province 1,291 kilometers away from her home.

According to Aktif Haber online news portal, Ö.A. was taken into custody in Isparta before she was transferred to Siirt for interrogation. Ö.A’s 6-mont-old baby reportedly accompanied her under detention as her husband, M.A. was already in jail as part of a separate investigation launched in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

An academic at Siirt University until he was dismissed from his job, M.A. has been under arrest over the past 10 months, Aktif Haber said.

According to media, police detained Ö.A in Isparta upon a complaint made in Siirt. The couple’s three other children were left to fend for themselves as both parents were imprisoned.

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 new report titled “Jailing Women In Turkey: Systematic Campaign of Persecution and Fear” released in April 27, 2017 by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has revealed.

560 children, aged between 0 to 6, are being held in Turkish prisons along with their mothers, according to data given by Turkey’s Justice Ministry. Children are taken into prison in the absence of family members to look after them outside. It has become a common occurrence that both parents are taken into custody leaving no one  to care for children. Turkish government, on many occasions, detained pregnant mothers as well.

It is reported that out of 560 children behind the bars, 114 are aged between 0 and 12 months; 128 children are 1-year-old; 114 children 2 years old; 81 children 3 years old; 70 children 4 years old; 31 children 5 years old; 5 children 6 years old; while age of the remaining 17 are unknown, the ministry said.

A military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President 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 them in custody.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) June 11, 2017

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