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Another woman detained at hospital in witch-hunt targeting Gülen movement

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Ayşe Kaya, who gave birth on Tuesday, was detained by police in İstanbul’s Esenyurt district on Wednesday as part of witch-hunt launched by the Turkish government targeting people linked to the Gülen movement.

“Which law, belief or religion approves the detention of Ayşe Kaya at an Esenyurt hospital where she gave a birth yesterday?” said Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), in a tweet that mentioned Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

“Police waited at the door to detain Ayşe Kaya, who gave birth today. End this conscienceless practice,” Tanrıkulu tweeted on Tuesday.

The detention of Kaya came a day after other news that a group of police officers had been waiting outside the Avrupa Hospital in the southern province of Adana in order to detain Derya Gül, who gave birth earlier in the day, according to a Twitter account named “magduriyetlerTR.”

While the details of the incident are still unknown, police raided the hospital to detain Gül, who gave birth to a baby boy on Monday.

Gül is facing a detention warrant as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accuse of masterminding a July 15, 2016 coup attempt. The movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt.

This is not the first detention of a woman immediately after delivery.

In June, teacher Esra Demir was detained a day after giving birth in Batman as part of the witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement.

In May, Aysun Aydemir, an English teacher who gave birth to a baby in a Cesarean procedure, was detained at the hospital for links to the Gülen movement and subsequently arrested by a court and put in pretrial detention with a three-day-old baby in Zonguldak province.

In late January, Fadime Günay, who had just given birth, was detained by police at Antalya’s Alanya Başkent Hospital as part of the same witch-hunt.

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 movement while she was on her way to the hospital to feed the baby.

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

According to recent data released by the Ministry of Justice, more than 2,250 mothers are being held in penal institutions, of whom 520 are obliged to raise their 0 to 6-year-old children in prison.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 are the subject of legal proceedings.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15.

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