Sick prisoners in Turkey face inhumane conditions and a lack of medical treatment, causing permanent damage to their bodies, according to a report by the Human Rights Association (IHD).
There are currently 1,564 sick prisoners, 590 of whom are seriously ill, in Turkish prisons, according to the IHD data.
Sıddık Güler, who is 81 years old, has been in prison for 26 years. He has been struggling with many illnesses that have left him unable to speak, and he now continues his life in prison in a wheelchair. Although he is unable to meet his needs on his own, all applications filed for his release were rejected.
COVID-19 measures in prisons mean his family has not been to able to visit him for about a year. Hesina Güler, Sıddık Güler’s wife, said her husband is no longer able to talk in their phone calls. “He has had two angiography tests and has many diseases”, she said. “He is very old and coughs continuously. He cannot meet his daily needs on his own, he needs help”.
Another prisoner, Yusuf Bor, was incarcerated for almost four years before he was released on 10 November 2019. During the time he spent in prison, he was not allowed to continue his medical treatment for the intraocular pressure he was suffering. Consequently he lost 94 percent of his sight, according to reports.
”I told them that my illness was progressing in prison and it was necessary to get treatment for my eyes as soon as possible”, said Bor. “They didn’t do anything until I lost my eyesight. They treat all sick prisoners this way”.
After his release he filed a criminal complaint against the authorities, who are responsible for the prevention of his medical treatment, but so far no one has been brought to justice.