Turkish prisons continue to be places where political prisoners are being deprived of most of their rights. Yusuf Akbaba is one such prisoner. He has been behind bars for 29 years and has faced state violence for years.
He is suffering from various diseases including diabetes, heart and eye disease and his condition has considerably worsened in prison. Yet, he has been prevented from undergoing surgery in a state hospital.
During the 29-year prison period, he has been placed in seven different prisons: Izmir, Bursa, Siirt, Bolu, Ankara, Kırklareli and Eskisehir. His niece, Rukiye Akbaba, spoke to MA and said her uncle was “exiled” from prison to prison but was not allowed to go to a hospital for treatment.
“He has serious diseases. Even the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) reported on his condition. He should be taken to a hospital but he hasen’t,” she said. “He should have been given food according to the diet list but he was neither given a diet list, nor treated at all.”
Pointing out that her uncle had caught all his illnesses whilst in prison, Rukiye said, “Shortly after being arrested, he started suffering from diabetes. He needs to be treated now. Despite the reports of dozens of doctors, he is deprived of his rights.”
This is psychological torture, said Rukiye, adding her uncle is not the first political prisoner to be treated in this manner.
“They are deliberately doing it to political prisoners. There are too many sick prisoners who are psychologically tortured, and he is one of them.”
Rukiye said they would continue to oppose the prison policy and called for support. “They’ll think we’re scared unless we resist. Who’s going to talk if I don’t talk on his behalf? We continue to resist: there is no law in prisons, it is the state’s policy.”