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86-year-old disabled man can finally return home from prison after forensic report

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Following weeks of trips between hospital and prison, an 86-year-old disabled man who was convicted of links to the faith-based Gülen movement will be able to return to his home in western Turkey based on a report from Turkey’s Council of Forensic Medicine (ATK), the Kronos news website reported.

The ATK, affiliated with the Ministry of Justice, has decided on the postponement of Mustafa Said Türk’s sentence until he recovers.

Türk was sent to prison on July 31 despite his old age and multiple health problems that have confined him to his bed. Over the past three weeks he was taken to a hospital from prison multiple times due to his deteriorating health despite the fact that his family and rights activists called for the immediate postponement of his sentence and called his imprisonment “inhumane.”

Dramatic scenes emerged when the bedridden man was being taken from his home to prison on a stretcher with the help of emergency health workers and gendarmes.

Journalist Sevinç Özarslan, who reported on Türk’s ordeal extensively for Kronos, said she can’t even be happy about the return of Türk to his home because of what he went through over the past three weeks.

Even the most basic needs of Türk, who suffered a brain hemorrhage and became paralyzed and bedridden in 2018, were being taken care of by two professional caregivers at home before he was sent to prison.

His family earlier had told Kronos that Türk had two brain hemorrhages in the last five years, suffered a heart attack last year and had a stent implanted for his heart, in addition to receiving four insulin injections a day.

Türk was expected to return his home in the Turgutlu district of Manisa from the Manisa R Type Prison on Thursday.

He had been arrested following an attempted coup on July 15, 2016 and was held in pretrial detention for 18 months in Manisa Type T Prison.

His 10-year sentence was recently upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeals. Although his lawyer requested a stay of the sentence, citing old age and severe illness, it was denied by the Manisa 3rd High Criminal Court. His lawyers then appealed the decision at the Manisa 4th High Criminal Court, which upheld the lower court’s ruling.

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 a terrorist organization. Gülen and his movement strongly deny any involvement in the failed putsch and any terrorist activity.

According to his family, Türk was a respected figure in Manisa before and was known for his benevolence, charity work and providing scholarships to students in need.

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