Opposition MP: Death of 2 purge victims was due to criminal neglect of Turkey’s AKP

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Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu has revealed that two civil servants who were previously removed from their jobs as part of a massive purge launched by the Turkish government in the wake of a 2016 coup attempt have died under the tyranny of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Gergerlioğlu, also a member of parliament’s Human Rights Inquiry Committee, on Wednesday made a public statement in the parliament, focusing on human rights violations in Turkey that include political prisoners who have lost their lives due to criminal neglect of government authorities.

“Almost every day, I reveal the death of a purge victim in Turkey. I do not care about their religious beliefs, political views, dispositions or races. The only thing I care about is the fact that they fall victim to the tyranny [of the AKP] and they die in disappointment,” he said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Former police officer Ahmet Kaplan, who was serving the fifth year of his sentence of over seven years in the İskenderun T Type Prison, was diagnosed with lung cancer in October. He lost his life on Tuesday after cancer spread to his kidneys at the 4th stage.  

Although he was sent to the İskenderun State Hospital from time to time for treatment, he was not allowed to stay there and his petitions demanding a release from prison due to his deteriorating health condition were not accepted by the prison authorities.

Forty-eight years old Kaplan, who was a father of two, was to be released under judicial supervision in four months.

“You have committed another murder! How many cases of criminal neglect have we seen so far? Ahmet Kaplan had advanced lung cancer. He died behind bars. He was released in a coffin. Shame on you,” Gergerlioğlu tweeted, addressing Turkey’s Justice Ministery on Wednesday.

Gülhan Çolakoğlu, a former chemistry teacher in Turkey, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2017, after the arrest of her husband Sefer Çolakoğlu, who was also a chemistry teacher, over coup-related charges in late 2016.

The 45-year-old teacher, who started receiving chemotherapy treatment in Turkey and underwent a total of five surgeries in over three years, lost her life on Wednesday as the cancer spread to her liver.

Çolakoğlu formerly received a sentence of six years and three months over links to the Gülen movement following the 2016 putsch bid and was banned from leaving the country, which prevented her from receiving the necessary treatment in Germany.

She scheduled an appointment at the Immun Onkologisches Zentrum, an oncology center in Cologne, in March but couldn’t receive treatment there because the authorities did not grant her a passport despite many petitions filed with the local and regional courts in her hometown Kayseri.

The HDP lawmaker slammed the ruling AKP government for leaving her to die in Turkey while they could have lifted her travel ban and allow her to receive treatment in Germany.

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