The family of 81 year old Makbule Özer have requested house arrest in lieu of prison following a decision by the Council of Forensic Medicine (CFM) that she is fit for incarceration. This request was made amid concerns over Özer’s health.
Özer, who was scheduled to return to prison based on the CFM’s assessment, was on her way to Izmir to serve the remainder of her sentence. The journey, which began on 3 December from Van (Wan) airport, was halted after the family was informed of a potential review of her imprisonment decision.
Medeni Özer, son of Makbule Özer, detailed the events: “We were almost on the plane when we got a call from our lawyer, saying ‘don’t bring her for now’. Doubtful, we returned home. Then we learned that the prosecutor’s office is reconsidering the decision. They’ll decide today whether to send her back to the CFM or convert her sentence to house arrest. We don’t trust the CFM to make a fair decision. Our hope is for house arrest.”
Makbule Özer and her husband Hadi Özer, from Van’s Edremit district, were arrested in a police operation on 24 July 2018, along with their children, on charges of “aiding a terrorist organisation”. Both received prison sentences of two years and six months. The couple was jailed in Van High Security Prison on 9 May 2022.
After a medical report indicated that Makbule Özer is 61 percent disabled, her family sought a reassessment from the CFM. On 5 September 2022, the CFM Third Specialisation Board concluded she was unfit for prison life, leading to a deferral of her sentence for a year. However, in a recent turn, the CFM Third Specialisation Board issued a new report on 1 November 2023, stating that she could be incarcerated, prompting the current request for house arrest.