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Post-coup victims attacked by inmates in eastern Turkey prison

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Two inmates in a prison in eastern Turkey have attacked eight other inmates arrested or convicted on charges of affiliation with the faith-based Gülen movement or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kronos news website reported on Tuesday.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

According to Kronos, the two inmates, who identified themselves as “men of the deep state,” stabbed eight inmates in Elazığ High Security Prison No.1 in the early hours of Tuesday, seriously injuring an inmate arrested as part of an investigation into alleged members of the Gülen movement.

The wife of a former lieutenant identified by the initials M.Y., who was expelled from the military by a government decree in the aftermath of an abortive putsch in July 2016, told Kronos that eight inmates, five of them former military members, were attacked.

“My spouse told me that he was taken to the hospital, examined and brought back to the prison. The prison warden summoned my spouse to his office and apologized. He asked me to make this assassination attempt public,” Kronos quoted the wife, identified as A.Y., as saying.

A.Y. also claimed that the two men who incapacitated the guards and injured her husband were Gültekin Alan and an inmate named Fırat.

An attorney who monitors the cases of people fired from their jobs by government decrees after the 2016 coup attempt indicated the potential for assaults directed at all discharged soldiers in prison, with the intention of linking them to criminal activities and potentially imposing further sentences to obstruct their release.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a lawmaker from the Green Left Party (YSP) and a prominent human rights advocate, shared the allegations on X, formerly known as Twitter, urging the Ministry of Justice and the Elazığ Governor’s Office to issue a public statement concerning the matter.

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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