Burhan Babaoglu, a sick prisoner who was held in different prisons of Turkey for 30 years, was released from prison on the 24th of March.
“What can I say? I am too much full of emotions; I do not know, sometimes words are not enough to explain, meeting with the people you love after 30 years…” These were his first sentences at the prison gate in Balikesir province of Turkey, in front of Kepsut Prison, while he was hugging his loved ones.
He was shocked when he saw the camera recording him from a mobile.
“Also, I am not used to that technology; I will get used to [it], thank you very much…
The flowers are Newroz flowers. What do these remind [you of]? I really cannot tell…” he said with tears in his eyes,
Babaoglu was arrested in 1992 and tried at the State Security Court (DGM) at the time, and sentenced to life imprisonment.
In 30 years, he was kept in Elazig, Diyarbakır, Bartin, Kandıra, Iskenderun, Kırkale Prisons and most recently in Balikesir Kepsut Prison for 6 years.
While Babaoglu was in prison, his brother Nazım Babaoglu, a reporter for the Ozgur Gündem newspaper, was kidnapped while he was following a story and has not been heard from since. Babaoglu was on the list of the Human Rights Organisation (IHD) sick detainees. He lost an eye because his treatment was blocked while he was held in Balikesir Kepsut L Type Closed Prison. Babaoglu also had a tumour detected in his spinal cord and underwent surgery on the 23rd of October, 2017. In those 30 years, he has written many stories and articles that were published in many journals.