Cancer patient arrested over Gülen links shortly after surgery

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A woman in the southern Turkish province of Antalya who underwent surgery a month ago has been arrested on terrorism charges due to her alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup in 2016.

The news about Ayşe Özdoğan’s arrest was announced by Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a renowned human rights activist and member of the Turkish Parliament from the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

In a message from his Twitter account, Gergerlioğlu said Özdoğan has been arrested despite the fact that she is a cancer patient and will soon require a second surgery because part of her jawbone has to be removed due to metastasis.

The HDP deputy also said the woman’s husband was also arrested eight months ago and that the couple’s 6-year-old son is now without a mother or a father.  

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 130,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others are still in jail and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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