Turkish police detain one more woman shortly after delivery

B.Ö., a Turkish woman who gave birth on Thursday in the Turkish province of Adana, was detained later the same day over her alleged links to Gülen movement. The woman and her one-day-old baby were reportedly taken to the Adana police station for interrogation.

Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a deputy from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called on Turkish authorities to stop the practice of detaining women hours after giving birth due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement. Tanrıkulu posted several photos of B.Ö. and police officers who were pictured while waiting outside of the woman’s room at Adana Ortadoğu Hospital, and said that “B.Ö. gave birth at Adana Ortadoğu Hospital this morning. [Police] awaits just outside to detain her. Do not tyrannize the mothers.”

This is not the first-time Turkish police have waited outside a hospital room to detain a woman who just had a baby, as part of an nation-wide witch hunt targeting the alleged followers of the Gülen movement. In July, Rümeysa Doğan in an Antalya hospital and Ayşe Kaya from Edirne were detained by police after delivery.

On June 2, Elif Aslaner, a religious education teacher who gave birth to a baby May 31 at a private hospital in Bursa, was detained due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, which Turkish government accuse of masterminding a failed coup last summer.

In May, Aysun Aydemir, an English teacher who gave birth to a baby in an elective cesarean procedure, was detained at the hospital and subsequently arrested by a court and put in pretrial detention with a 3-day-old baby in Zonguldak province as part of the witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement.

In late January, Fadime Günay, who gave birth to a baby, was detained by police at Antalya’s Alanya Başkent Hospital for alleged links to the Gülen movement.

In early January, Ş.A., a former private school teacher and mother of a week-old premature infant, was taken into police custody over links to the movement while she was on her way to the hospital to feed the baby.

A day after Ş.A. was taken into police custody, another woman known as Meryem gave birth to twins by C-section at a hospital in Konya and was detained by police despite hospital reports said that she should not travel and was taken to Aksaray from Konya in a police car.

The number of babies and children aged between 0 to 6, who are being held in Turkish prisons along with their parents, rose from 560 to 668, according to the most recent data given by the Turkish government.

Children are taken into prison in the absence of family members to look after them outside. Turkish government has launched a sweeping crackdown across the country, detaining more than 120,000 and jailing some 55,000 over alleged links to a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

It has become a common occurrence very recently that both parents are arrested by Turkish courts leaving no one outside to care for children. Pregnant women, too, failed to avoid government persecution on many occasions.

Hundreds of women are in pretrial detention in jails across Turkey with their infants, some of them less than six months old, due to a state of emergency declared after a failed coup last year, a BBC Turkish report said on last Friday.

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 report titled “Jailing Women In Turkey: Systematic Campaign of Persecution and Fear released in April by SCF has revealed.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 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.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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