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Wife, daughter of purge victim who died of cancer detained

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Turkish police on Tuesday detained the wife and daughter of Associate Professor Ahmet Turan Özcerit, who was removed from his job, jailed and died of cancer in the wake of a failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016.

The reasons for the detention of Esra Özcerit, a housewife, and daughter Senanur Özcerit, a university student, in the northwestern Turkish province of Sakarya were unknown.

Özcerit’s son, Sinan, a student at Bilkent University in Ankara, announced the news from his Twitter account on Tuesday morning and said there were actually 18 detentions in Sakarya on Tuesday and that friends of his sister, who are foreigners, were among the detainees.

“When my father passed away, you disturbed us by sending police to our home while we were mourning. Now, you detain my sister’s foreign friends just because she invited them to our home for a fast-breaking dinner. We have already been burned and are burning. Will you burn everyone who touches us?” tweeted son Özcerit.

Ahmet Turan Özcerit was among the thousands of civil servants who were removed from their jobs by the Turkish government due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. He was a faculty member of Sakarya University’s computer engineering department.

The Turkish government accuses the movement of masterminding the failed coup and terrorism, although the movement strongly denies any involvement.

Özcerit, who was subsequently jailed, was diagnosed with cancer while in prison and was only released when the cancer reached an advanced stage. He was kept in pre-trial detention for 13 months and died in February 2018.

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