Turkish woman detained over alleged Gülen links along with 40-day-old baby while visiting jailed husband

Zehra Elbir, a former court clerk who was earlier dismissed from her job in the government’s post-coup purge of state institutions, was detained only 40 days after she gave birth to her second child during a visit to her husband in prison.

Eril Elbir, Zehra Elbir’s husband and a former police officer who was also dismissed over his alleged links to the Gülen movement, has been under arrest for 9 months.

In yet another example of disproportionate punishment imposed on people targeted in Turkey’s post-coup witch-hunt, Elbir was taken under police custody along with her 40-day-old baby when she showed up at Ankara’s Sincan prison to meet her husband during an open visit on June 16.

It is not the first time that Zehra was detained, media said, adding that she has been taken into custody also another time when police raided a hospital and caught her while she was accompanying the family’s other child.

A controversial 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 Recep Tayyip 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.

At least 161,751 people were detained or investigated and 50,334 people were arrested in Turkey in the framework of the Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement since the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to statistics reported by state-run Anadolu news agency by basing on information taken from the officials from Turkey’s Justice Minsitry on June 13. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) June 17, 2017

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