A public prosecutor asked a mother who was arrested due to her alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement to become an informant or else the mother’s son, who suffers from leukemia, would be given to social services, according to a report on the TR724 website on Thursday.
The woman was identified only as H.
The prosecutor investigating her reportedly told the woman: “Give me names [of Gülen followers] or else you can’t see your son and I will give him to the Society for the Protection of Children.”
H. reportedly refused to become an informant because she did not want to slander innocent people.
According to TR724, H.’s 10-year-old son A. needs a bone marrow transplant to survive; however, the mother and the son faced insults and accusations when seeking treatment at the hospital.
“There is no bone marrow for the son of a terrorist,” A. was reportedly told at the hospital.
The Turkish government labels the Gülen movement as a terrorist organization despite the lack of any court decision to this effect.
Turkey experienced 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 despite the lack of any evidence to that effect.
Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminded the foiled coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, 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.
In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of March 1, 93,248 people were being held without charge, with an additional 46,274 in pre-trial detention.
A total of 7,316 academics were dismissed, and 4,070 judges and prosecutors were purged over alleged coup involvement or terrorist links.