Turkish gov’t transfers 87-year old ‘coup suspect’ to prison far away from hometown

Ali Osman Karahan

Ali Osman Karahan, a 87-year-old Turkish man who has been kept in an Isparta Prison for almost 15 months over alleged links to the Gülen movement, has forcibly been transferred to a prison in Dinar district of Afyonkarahisar, a province located some 100 km from Karahan’s hometown of Isparta.

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu posetd a tweet on Friday in which he asked Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül whether the allegations regarding Karahan’s forcible transfer are true.

“Ali Osman Karahan is 87 year old and he, along with his son, has been under arrest for 15 months in Isparta. It is said that he was exiled to Dinar Prison. Is that correct @abdulhamitgul,” Tanrıkulu asked.

A video footage, posted by Karahan’s grandson on Twitter in early 2017, shows the moment a police officer in plain clothes walks Karahan into a building where he will be testifying before a judge.

Karahan has advanced-stage prostate cancer and has only one kidney.

Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

The movement denies any involvement. However, the Turkish gov’t initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen group, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention.

A total of 7,316 academics were dismissed, and 4,070 judges and prosecutors were purged over alleged coup involvement or terrorist links. (turkeypurge.com)

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