Turkish woman detained on coup charges hours after giving birth in Ankara

Sevim Çelik, a Turkish teacher who gave birth to a baby in Ankara on Friday, was reportedly detained later the same day over alleged links to the Gülen movement.

According to the Twitter account , Turkish police came to the Ankara Bayındır Hospital several hours after Çelik gave birth to her baby in order to take her to a police station in Ankara for interrogation. Similar allegations have been made by several other Turkish journalists and Çelik’s family members on Twitter. The claim has neither been confirmed nor denied by the Turkish authorities.

This is not the first-time Turkish police detained a woman shortly after giving birth, as part of an ongoing investigation into 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.

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 investigation into the Gülen movement.

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

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 group 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.

According to recent data released by the Ministry of Justice, 568 children aged between 0 to 6 are being held in prison along with their parents.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

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 Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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