Hundreds of women are in pretrial detention in jails across Turkey with their infants, some of them less than six months old, due to a state of emergency declared after a failed coup last year, a BBC Turkish report said on Friday.
A 70-year-old prospective Hajj pilgrim was detained on coup charges at İstanbul’s Atatürk on Thursday night. Kıymet G., who is being held by police, was taken into custody while she was waiting to get on a Turkish Airlines flight for the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Betül Selçuk, a physics teacher who has been held in pretrial detention for almost 11 months over alleged links to the Gülen movement, has told her lawyer that her 5-month-old son, Mehmet Selim, is slowly going blind in prison due to overheating and unhygienic conditions.
Following the abortive putsch on July 15 2016, allegations of unfair trials, using torture in prisons and holding suspects without trial have been made against Erdogan’s government. And now, it has been alleged that Turkey is arresting women accused of links to the Gülen movement immediately after they give birth.
Sultan Çetintaş, who gave birth on Monday to her third child in the Turkish province of İzmir, was detained on Tuesday over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement. Çetintaş was taken to the courthouse with her one-day-old baby after undergoing a C-section.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu has asked Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to halt the practice of arresting women immediately after giving birth due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement.
Cengiz Zaza Akbaba, the husband of Gulistan Diken Akbaba said in a recent video that his wife and 11-month-old son have been under arrest despite the babies medical problems. “This child is only one of 560 children. Now, 560 children are not allowed to touch the soil, not allowed to see the sun,” Akbaba added.
Ayşe Kaya, 30-year-old woman who gave birth to a baby in İstanbul early on Tuesday, was reportedly detained by police with her newborn baby later the same day. Turkish government has systematically been detaining women on coup charges either when they are pregnant or shortly after giving birth. This incident is the second in a week and 16th in the past 9 months.