Human Rights Association (İHD) Istanbul Branch Prison Commission members carried out the 472nd “F Meeting” protest (an event held periodically against the violations in Turkey’s prisons) in which they drew attention to the situation of sick prisoners in Turkey. This week the Mesopotamia News Agency reported on a press release that was published on social media describing the story of a 75-year-old prisoner called Fatma Güler, who is suffering increasingly ill health.
Fatma Güler has been imprisoned in the İzmir Şakran Women’s Closed Prison since 30 October 2018. She was sentenced to five years and remains behind bars despite her old age and ill health.
İHD Istanbul branch co-chair Gülseren Yoleri shared Fatma Güler’s story and said that she underwent two gastric surgeries before she was arrested. “She is also suffering from asthma, high blood pressure, and liver disease,” she added.
Stating that Güler’s health has been deteriorating due to the prison conditions, Yoleri emphasised that the risk has increased since the pandemic. “Prison is an ideal environment for the spread of the virus and political prisoners are left to die under these circumstances in Turkey,” Yoleri said.
“Since her imprisonment, Fatma Güler’s conditions have worsened and now she is also suffering from severe visual impairment and aches in the ear. She cannot sleep proparly due to the intense pain. Swelling has occurred in her chest and armpits, and the disease in her liver has worsened. She recently had goiter surgery, but her diagnosis was not declared.”
She must be released
Although attorneys applied to the court for Güler to be released, their demands were rejected.
“All of the applications we made were either rejected or unanswered. I am calling on state officials to address the situation of Fatma Güler and all sick prisoners. They have to be released immediately,” said Yoleri.