Held under arrest over his alleged links to the Gülen movement since Sept. 28, prominent psychiatry professor Haluk Savaş was reportedly diagnosed with cancer, according to several journalists and social media users.
An expert on mental health disorders and an academic at Gaziantep University (GAÜN), Savaş was among 90 faculty members who were arrested over their alleged ties to the movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a July 15 coup attempt.
Filiz Çakır, a columnist at the government-targeted Türk Solu magazine said on Twitter that Savaş was scheduled to undergo surgery on Oct. 31.
Former Zaman reporter Hasan Cücük, meanwhile said: “… Savaş was sent back to his holding cell even though he was diagnosed with bile duct cancer.”
A candidate for deputy nomination on the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) ticket in the 2015 general elections, Savaş is also popular for his widely circulated tweets.
More than 6,300 academics have been dismissed as part of a witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement by means of government decrees issued under the state of emergency following the putsch bid.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, inspired by US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Despite Gülen and the movement having denied the accusation and calling for an international investigation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.