Doctor jailed due to Gülen links dies of heart attack in prison

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Ali Özer, a 48-year-old doctor who was jailed due to his alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, has died of a heart attack in Çorum Prison.

Özer had been the deputy chief physician at Ankara Nallıhan State Hospital.

The doctor died at the Çorum Teaching and Research Hospital, where he was taken after suffering a heart attack in his prison ward.

Özer’s body was sent to the Ankara Council of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy.

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.

There have been many cases of suicide and deaths in prison, some of which were found to be suspicious, of people who have been affected by the purge of Gülen movement followers.

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