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Family worries about health of disabled 86-year-old who faces prison over Gülen links

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The family of an elderly man who is almost totally disabled and faces prison since his 10-year sentence over links to the faith-based Gülen movement was recently upheld by the top appeals court worries about his health behind bars, the Kronos news website reported on Thursday.

Even the most basic needs of 86-year-old Mustafa Said Türk, who suffered a brain hemorrhage and became paralyzed and bedridden in 2018, are being taken care of by two professional caregivers.

Mustafa Said Türk

His family is concerned about him being taken to prison in his condition, as their request for a stay of execution, citing old age and severe illness, has been denied. According to Kronos, the Manisa 3rd High Criminal Court said the decision was because “a medical report for the convict hasn’t yet been received and the execution process has not commenced.”

“They said they would come to get him. An evaluation will be conducted by the Institute of Forensic Medicine, and we are worried about the process. We are requesting that the evaluation be done at home. Our lawyers have applied to the Manisa 4th High Criminal Court to appeal the rejection decision. … But we don’t know when they will come and if they will wait for the results of the appeal,” Türk’s son Süleyman Türk told Kronos.

Türk stated that his father had two brain hemorrhages in the last five years, had a heart attack last year and received a stent for his heart and gets four insulin injections per day.

“We can’t even make him stand up and walk, and they are going to take him to prison. Then they’ll take him to a hospital for a medical report, and we don’t know how long this process will take. He already has a 98 percent disability certificate. We don’t understand what they’re trying to do,” he added.

Türk was arrested following an attempted coup on July 15, 2016 and served 18 months in Manisa Type T Prison.

Bülent Arınç, former deputy prime minister of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and former parliamentary speaker who is a close friend of the Türk family, said when Mustafa Said Türk was arrested in 2016 that he had known him for 40 years and that he is a philanthropist who supported educational activities.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement, inspired by the views of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, of masterminding the failed coup in 2016, and labels it as a terrorist organization. Gülen and his movement strongly deny any involvement in the failed putsch and any terrorist activity.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.

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