Izmir Hospital Says Paralyzed Inmate Who Will Have Heart Surgery Is Fit To Stay In Jail

Şerife Sulukan, 45, a paralyzed woman serving a sentence for affiliation with the Gülen movement who was admitted to a hospital for major surgery, received a medical report indicating that she could return to prison immediately after her release from the hospital, the Bold Medya news website reported.

Sulukan is due to undergo heart surgery on Friday. Although the report clearly indicated that Sulukan’s disability had reached a stage where she could no longer walk without assistance and could no longer take care of herself, it concluded that she could return to prison after the operation.

Sulukan’s family has repeatedly expressed concern about prison conditions and said his health has deteriorated significantly during his incarceration.

In June 2022, Sulukan suffered an epileptic seizure in prison and wrote a letter to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu asking for help. Sulukan said she did not have access to proper medical care or proper nutrition in prison, which delayed her treatment.

According to his family, Sulukan had never experienced a seizure before. She was supposed to take supplements to support her treatment, but she cannot currently be incarcerated. They think that’s why Sulukan had a seizure.

Various human and individual rights platforms expressed their solidarity with Sulukan on social media.

“Şerife Sulukan, who is paralyzed, unable to walk unaided, unable to support herself on her own, and who also suffers from heart disease, received a hospital report stating that she “may remain in prison”. It’s amazing!” said one social media user.

“Şerife Sulukan, an almost completely disabled teacher, was hospitalized for heart surgery, but the hospital decided that she was fit to remain in prison despite her serious health problems. They almost let her die,” said Kadının Sesi (Voice of Women), a German platform for women’s rights.


Sulukan, a former teacher who has been paralyzed for 22 months, was sent to prison in early May after the Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a six-year, three-month prison sentence for her affiliation with the Gülen faith-based movement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting supporters of the movement since corruption investigations from December 17 to 25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and those around him.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and a plot against his government, Erdoğan branded the movement a terrorist organization and began targeting its members. He intensified the crackdown on the movement following an abortive putsch on July 15, 2016.

There have even been cases where women arrested on Gülen links died in prison after being denied essential medication by prison authorities or when women were sent to prison immediately after giving birth with their newborns. born, contrary to the law.

Turkish women’s rights organizations and opposition parties are being criticized for turning a blind eye to the plight of these women and failing to speak out against their imprisonment on what many see as politically motivated charges.

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