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Woman detained at hospital, jailed with 3-day-old baby over Gülen links

Aysun Aydemir, an English teacher who gave birth to a baby in an elective caesarean procedure, was detained at the hospital and subsequently arrested by a court and put in pretrial detention with a 3-day-old baby in Zonguldak province as part of a witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the T24 news website reported on Monday.

According to the news, police first started to wait at the door of the delivery room when Aydemir was admitted to the private Ekomar Hospital in the Ereğli district of Zonguldak. After giving birth by caesarean section, she was taken to a room for follow-up treatment.

The police detained her and took her to the station despite the fact that she was barely able to walk due to the surgery.

Aydemir was subsequently arrested by a court and sent to pretrial detention with her newborn baby.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu reacted to the arrest of Aydemir in a tweet mentioning Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ: “Aysun Aydemir delivered 3 days ago. She has just been detained in Ereğli. She was sent to prison with a 3-day-old baby. Is this your justice?”

Filiz Y., a 30-year-old woman who gave birth at Mersin City Hospital on Feb. 7, was detained over alleged links to the Gülen group.

In late January, Fadime Günay, who gave birth to a baby, was detained by police in Antalya’s Alanya Başkent Hospital as part of the witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement.

Günay was taken to police headquarters with her one-day-old baby. After her interrogation, she was sent to court with her baby, who was taken by relatives when Günay entered the courtroom. The court ordered Günay to spend one more day in the hospital.

In early January, Ş.A., a former private school teacher and mother of a week-old premature infant, was taken into police custody over links to the faith-based Gülen movement while she was on her way to the hospital to feed the baby.

As part of an investigation carried out by Aksaray Public Prosecutor Ayhan Demir, Ş.A. was detained by police and taken to Aksaray from Şanlıurfa province despite the fact that she produced hospital reports saying she should not travel as she had given birth a week earlier by C-section. She also told police officers that her baby was premature and needed to be breast fed and also required special care in the intensive care unit.

A day after Ş.A. was taken into police custody, another mother known as Meryem gave birth to twins by C-section in a hospital in Konya and was detained by police despite hospital reports that she should not travel and was taken to Aksaray from Konya in a police car.

More than 17,000 women in Turkey, many with small children, have been jailed in an unprecedented crackdown and subjected to torture and ill-treatment in detention centers and prisons as part of the government’s systematic campaign of intimidation and persecution of critics and opponents, a new report titled “Jailing Women In Turkey: Systematic Campaign of Persecution and Fear” released in April by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has revealed.

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.

The movement denies any involvement.

According to a statement from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt, while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention. On May 6 Justice Minister Bozdağ said 149,833 people have been investigated and 48,636 have been jailed as part of investigations targeting the Gülen movement since July 15 of last year.

Contrary to accusations made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish government, the head of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Bruno Kahl, on March 18 said Turkey could not convince them that US-based Turkish-Islamic scholar Gülen was behind the failed coup attempt on July 15.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament concluded on March 25 that Gülen and the movement he inspired as a whole were not behind the failed coup attempt.

On March 19 Devin Nunes, chairman of United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also said he has not seen any evidence showing Gülen’s involvement in the failed coup attempt in Turkey.

In January, a report prepared by the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (IntCen) revealed that the coup attempt was staged by a range of Erdoğan’s opponents due to fears of an impending purge.

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