Turkish police wait to detain Feyza Yaylacı shortly after her delivery of a premature baby over alleged Gülen links

Turkish police have been reportedly waiting in front of a door of a patient’s room at Memorial Hospital in Ankara, where Feyza Yaylacı has just delivered a premature baby, in order to detain her as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch-hunt campaign targeting the alleged members of the Gülen movement.

According to information shared by Mağdur Mesajları on Twitter, Feyza Yaylacı has delivered a baby on 33rd week of her pregnancy at Memorial Hospital in Ankara. Since her baby was born premature, he/she was put in an incubator at the hospital. As newly born baby was under intensive care in an incubator his/her mother is waiting to be detained by police who have been waiting at door of her room at hospital since Friday morning.

Yaylacı was detained by police on Sunday, however she was released by a prosecutor later in the day, news website TR724 reported. According to the report, due to her lawyer’s efforts, police who had been waiting at the at the door of the delivery room of Memorial Hospital in Ankara agreed to wait another night before detaining Yaylacı. She was released by a prosecutor after being taken to court by police later in the day.

Reacting to the detention of women soon after giving birth, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu called on the government to stop the oppression, in a Twitter message on Saturday.

This is not the first case of a woman who has been tried to be detained immediately after delivery. Sultan Çetintaş, who gave birth August 1 to her third child in the Turkish province of İzmir, had been detained  by police over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement. Çetintaş had been taken to the courthouse with her one-day-old baby after undergoing a C-section.

Teacher Esra Demir was also detained, a day after giving birth in Batman, as part of a witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement. Demir gave birth at Batman Dünya Hospital and police had waited at the hospital gate took her into custody as she left the hospital on Monday.

Also, Nazlı N. Mert, who was detained shortly after giving birth and taken to a police station with her newborn baby, was released over the weekend on judicial probation due to growing public outrage over the incident, according to local media. Mert was taken into custody as part of a post-coup witch-hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

The husband of Mert, who gave birth to a baby in a caesarean procedure, had previously been arrested and imprisoned over his alleged ties to the Gülen movement.

Turkish police had also detained Elif Aslaner, a religious education teacher who gave birth to a baby on Wednesday at a private hospital in Bursa in early May, due to her alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

According to a statement from her husband, who spoke to the Aktifhaber news website, police teams arrived at the hospital on Wednesday evening to detain Aslaner; however, the woman’s doctor said she should be kept under observation for at least 48 hours because of possible complications.

Aslaner’s husband said his wife had preeclampsia and suffered from convulsions when she gave birth to her first baby and remained in a coma for two days. The husband said there was a risk of the same complications recurring.

The husband also said their house was raided and searched by the police at a time when they were not at home while his wife was still pregnant. He said his wife did not want to surrender to the police because she was afraid of being arrested, like some other women who were arrested while they were pregnant or shortly after giving birth.

According to Aktifhaber, Aslaner was detained on Friday morning as she was being discharged from the hospital with her newborn baby.

In May, Aysun Aydemir, an English teacher who gave birth to a baby in a caesarean procedure, was detained at the hospital and subsequently arrested by a court and put in pretrial detention with a three-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 as part of the same witch-hunt.

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 Gülen 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 mother known as Meryem gave birth to twins by C-section at a hospital in Konya and was detained by police despite doctors’ reports that she should not travel and was taken to Aksaray from Konya in a police car.

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.

Meanwhile, 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. As a reply to Turkey’s main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) deputy Gamze İlgezdi’s question motion, Turkish Justice Ministry has stated that the number of children staying along with their mothers behind bars has hit 668 as of July 4, 2017. The corresponding number was 560 in April.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch 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’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. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.

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