22 May 2017
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  • » 05/15/2017, 12.19


    Mother’s day 2017: Over 17,000 women behind bars across Turkey, many with children

    Arrested by government even pregnant women or those who have just given birth. In several cases, women were detained in the hospital immediately after the delivery of her baby and before they had a chance to recover. Others were jailed while visiting their husbands in jail. In the first two weeks of May, 1257 people were arrested, 264 were imprisoned.


    Istanbul (AsiaNews) - As Turkey celebrated the Mother’s day on Sunday, more than 17,000 women, many of them with babies, have been deprived of enjoying the day as they are obliged to spend it in prisons across Turkey. A number increased in recent months, in the wake of a repression campaign launched by the authorities. 

    According to Turkeypurge, website documenting arrests and repression, especially after a coup attempt on July 15, prisons in Turkey turned into a hub for Turkish women, as the government adopted a policy of imprisoning those who, in some cases, have just given birth or are pregnant.

    In several cases, women were detained in the hospital immediately after the delivery of her baby and before they had a chance to recover. Many women were jailed as they were visiting their imprisoned husbands, leaving the children stranded in the ensuing chaos.

    Since July 2016, Turkish authorities have arrested more than 45,000 people, including teachers, soldiers, intellectuals, opposition politicians, businessmen, journalists, activists and ordinary citizens. More than 135,000 public servants have been either suspended or dismissed.

    The crackdown is aimed at Kurds, and sympathisers (real or assumed) of the movement led by Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who lives in exile in Pennsylvania, US.

    According to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and other government leaders Gülen was behind the coup in Turkey that killed 270 people, wounding thousands.

    For instance, Filiz Y., a 30-year-old woman who gave birth at Mersin City Hospital on Feb. 7 was detained over alleged links to the Gülen group, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

    In another example, Fadime Günay, who gave birth to a baby boy late on Jan. 29, was taken into custody on Jan. 30.

    Police reportedly waited outside Antalya’s Alanya Başkent Hospital for hours in order to detain Günay, whose husband was recently taken into custody over alleged links to the Gülen group.

    In one case, a woman reportedly lost her sanity under torture while in police detention, yet she was thrown back into prison, despite a diagnosis to that effect.

    Another woman was jailed because her husband, a journalist, remained at large. In many cases, the government has jailed the wives of businessmen who are seen as supporting the opposition to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in addition to seizing all their businesses and personal assets.

    The practice of jailing of women in big numbers has added a new dimension to the massive government witch-hunt that has been launched against critics, mainly targeting members of the Gülen group.

    None of the women has any criminal record. They are not yet convicted, and in most cases, not even indicted, but have been put in pre-trial detention as punishment.

    At least 1257 people were detained, with 264 of them put under arrest, in operations targeting the Gülen group and Turkey’s Kurdish minority in the first 15 days of May.


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    See also

    19/07/2016 13:11:00 TURKEY
    Reinstating the death penalty, next step in repression unleashed by Erdogan

    Although the Turkish president denies wanting to take advantage of the situation, there seems to be no end to the wave of arrests taking place, as well as thousands of military and police officers, generals and judges. In this regard, experts from the Council of Europe yesterday stated that "mass arrests and referrals of judges are not an acceptable means to restore democracy".


    05/11/2016 14:36:00 TURKEY
    Ankara’s repression and neo-Ottoman dreams worry the international community

    A court remands into custody nine journalists waiting for trail. The leaders of the main Kurdish opposition party are also jailed. Ankara blames the PKK for yesterday’s attack in Diyarbakir, claimed by the Islamic State. Concern is growing in the West over thousands of arrests and Turkey’s imploding democracy. Turkism expansionism targets Aleppo, Raqqa and Mosul.

    15/12/2014 TURKEY
    Turkey, police raid against "corrupt" journalists and officials
    One year after Turkey's bribery scandal, President Erdogan attacks the movement linked to the spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen with arrests and searches against the press and even former police chiefs.

    10/08/2016 15:53:00 TURKEY
    New purges in Turkey: 2,500 Religious Affairs officials suspended

    In total, the Directorate has sent away 3,672 employees for “involvement” in the 15 July coup. Established to control religion, the agency supervises some 80,000 mosques across the country and its budget is greater than that of the Health Ministry.

    04/11/2016 10:20:00 TURKEY
    Explosion in Diyarbakir after the arrest of two pro-Kurdish leaders

    At least 20 wounded in the blast, two of them seriously. The explosion occurred near a police station in the Baglar district. Earlier the security forces had arrested Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag. State of emergency extended. Arrest warrant for 137 university professors, suspected of ties with the Islamic preacher Gülen.


    Editor's choices

    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan

    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.

    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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