TV director jailed over Gülen links dies of cancer after belated release from prison

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TV director Fatih Terzioğlu, 40, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer during his 21-month incarceration on terrorism charges, died on Saturday following his release from prison in mid-July due to an intensive social media campaign.

Terzioğlu’s wife, Esra, had conducted a campaign on social media for the release of her husband, who was put behind bars due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016. The movement strongly denies any involvement in the abortive putsch.

The wife said the negligence and slowness of officials had caused Terzioğlu’s situation to worsen.

She recently tweeted that doctors said her husband had only a year to live.

His health deteriorated significantly due to poor prison conditions, especially difficulty in accessing medical treatment and unhygienic and crowded facilities.

Terzioğlu was sentenced to six years, three months for membership in the Gülen movement, labelled as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government.

He had worked for the now-closed Samanyolu TV, a Gülen-affiliated television network in Turkey.

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 20,000 others are still in jail and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

Those in jail include women with babies and pregnant women as well as critically ill and elderly people.

A few days ago, Mevlüt Öztaş, a journalist who was put in prison over the Gülen links, died of cancer 2 months after his release.

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