Daughter of jailed journalist Çetinkaya: My father needs urgent medical care

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Jailed journalist Tuncer Çetinkaya's daughter R.G. hugs her father upon his release from an Antalya prison in March. The journalist was rearrested several days later.

R. G. Çetinkaya, the daughter of jailed Turkish journalist Tuncer Çetinkaya, has written a letter to Turkish Minute in which she explained the deteriorating health of her father, who suffers from a serious kidney problem as well as other ailments and called on Turkish authorities to provide him with immediate medical care.

Çetinkaya is among the dozens of journalists who were jailed in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 as part of the government’s post-coup crackdown on critics.
He is the former local news representative in Antalya for the Zaman daily, which was closed down by the government after the July 15 coup attempt.

Çetinkaya was released under judicial supervision along with six other local reporters on March 30 but detained two days later and was subsequently re-arrested.

“I am R. G. Çetinkaya, the daughter of journalist Tuncer Çetinkaya, who is jailed in the Antalya L-Type Prison, ward number F9.

My father was detained on July 23, 2016 in Aksaray by eight civil policemen. We did not hear from him and were not even told where he was for four days. After four days, we found out that he had been brought to the Antalya Sanayi Police Station. Then he was sent to court and has been under arrest for 11 months.

My father, Tuncer Çetinkaya, has polycystic kidney disease, the treatment of which is yet to be found. My father has lost all his family elders because of this disease. In addition to this, he is suffering from other diagnosed diseases such as hypertension, enlargement of the prostate, cervical herniated disc and a thyroid problem.

He needs to take a lot of medicine. After he was jailed, his medicines were not given to him for three-and-a-half months and he was not allowed to be treated by a doctor. The disease in his kidney got worse.

My father’s health is deteriorating because of his living conditions, his other diseases, the psychological trauma he is experiencing and the lack of nutritional standards in prison.

Even though my father has been writing a petition to prison management every week, he has not received any response. There are inadequacies in prison in terms of diet, which directly affect his blood pressure.

While his blood pressure needs to be measured regularly, he was permitted seven months later to receive a sphygmomanometer.

My father underwent a hernia operation on Jan. 17, 2016. They usually allow prisoners to stay with a companion, but they did not allow us to do that. We did not even see him. He later told us that he had been psychologically tortured, he had been just thrown away somewhere naked, he had experienced maltreatment from soldiers, he had not been given food and water, and that had been dragged back to prison in handcuffs.  

This is a heartbreaking incident for a human being. My father has been imprisoned for 11 months. The medical reports show that he is not able to use 54 percent of his kidneys and that a cyst in the kidney has grown three millimeters.

My father has to be treated by a doctor every two weeks. They don’t care about these things in the prison. We want my father to be released as soon as possible. Please let our voice be heard, I don’t want to lose my father. “

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