Turkish woman imprisoned for financially supporting family of husband’s fellow inmate

Emine Güven and her husband

Emine Güven, a mother of two, has been sentenced to four years in prison for sending money to the family of a man jailed in the same ward as her husband, the Bold Medya news agency reported.

Güven was convicted of “financing terrorism,” a charge frequently leveled against people acting in solidarity with the families of political prisoners.

She was arrested in May 2022 and released pending trial five months later.

With her sentence upheld by an appeals court, she was sent back to prison in İstanbul.

Güven’s ordeal began during a visit with her husband, Hüseyin Güven, who has been incarcerated for over three years on alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.

The fellow inmate has also been behind bars on similar grounds.

During one of the visits, Hüseyin told Emine about the financial hardship faced by a fellow inmate’s family. The couple decided to help, and Emine sent money via an ATM to a bank account number provided by her husband.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement, inspired by Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, since the corruption investigations in 2013, which implicated then-prime minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following an abortive putsch on July 15, 2016, that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

The couple’s two children, aged 10 and 16, were left in the care of their elderly grandparents after their mother’s imprisonment.

The grandparents are struggling to care for the children due to the grandmother’s heart surgery and other health issues.

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