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Bedridden mother dies after daughter arrested over links to Gülen movement

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Eighty-six-year-old bedridden Fahriye Asrak died on Thursday after her daughter Nejla Akdağ was arrested by a court over links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which the government accuses of being behind a failed coup attempt on July 15.

According to a story on the Aktifhaber.com website, Fahriye Asrak died in Edirne following her daughter’s arrest, which had left her with two grandchildren and an 83-year-old husband who has difficulties in walking.

Nejla Akdağ and her husband were teachers at a government school but were dismissed last August as part of government purges against the Gülen movement.

Five months after police raided and searched their house, on Aug. 30, Akdağ was detained on Jan. 27 and handcuffed while her mother, father and two children were at home.

Aktifhaber.com said Nejla Akdağ was taking care of her mother because her husband had left for another city to find work since they did not have any income after they were dismissed from their jobs.

Despite a doctor’s report saying she was looking after her mother, who had partial paralysis and heart problems, Nejla Akdağ was arrested by a Penal Court of Peace in Edirne in early February.

According to Aktifhaber.com, officers in the prison where Nejla Akdağ was being held keep telling her that she would be freed after her husband turned himself in.

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. The movement denies the accusations.

Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of Feb. 1, 89,775 people were being held without charge, with an additional 43,885 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement.

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