New mother detained over Gülen links despite doctor’s objection

Hatice Avan

Hatice Avan, who gave birth to a baby in the western Turkish province of Denizli on Thursday, was detained on Friday, despite her doctor’s objection, over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Avan, who used to work at a student dormitory affiliated with the Gülen movement until three years ago, was taken to the prosecutor’s office although her doctor warned that she had just had surgery and was suffering from poor health.

Police officers wanted to handcuff Avan in her hospital room, but upon a request from her family they instead locked her in the room with her baby before detaining her.

Avan is not the first mother to face detention immediately after delivery.

Havva Hamamcıoğlu, Nazlı Mert, Esra Demir, Aysun Aydemir, Elif Aslaner and Fadime Günay are only some of the women who also faced detention shortly after delivery as part of the post-coup witch-hunt targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement.

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

The 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 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.

According to a report by the state-run Anadolu news agency on May 28, 154,694 individuals have been detained and 50,136 have been jailed due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup attempt.

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  1. OH, I just realized Why Tayyip Erdoğan and MIT head Hakan Fidan are doing this: they’re hoping that Fethullah Gülen will crack under the pressure of knowing that all his adherents are being locked up, and that he will come back to Turkey voluntarily. So they can silence him forever with respect to what he knows about corruption in the Erdoğan government. I can’t believe how long it’s taken me to catch on to what the persecution is really all about. He must Never go back there until those people have lost their hold on power. He must only go back when and if they go on trial, and then, if he is able to, he must go back to testify about what he knows regarding corruption. Or maybe he can testify by video. He must understand that if he succumbs to the pressure to ‘end the persecution’ by going back there himself, then They Win. The only way is to go through the valley of tears, until the Turkish people understand that there will Never be peace or prosperity or justice in Turkey, with Tayyip Erdoğan and Hakan Fidan at the helm.