(Don’t arrest Ayse Ozdogan)
This hashtag was created to fight against the nine years six months sentence prison against Ayse Ozdogan issued by a Turkish Supreme court of appeals.
Despite the massive social reaction in Turkey on social media, Ayse Ozdogan was arrested last Saturday. On Twitter, her brother said that “The execution was not postponed; they came to pick up my sister.” The grounds for her conviction were being an administrator in a private student dormitory, having an account at Bank Asya, using the Bylock, and being a member of an armed terrorist organization, namely the Gulen Movement.
The Gulen Movement is considered a terrorist organization according to Erdoğan’s regime, which accused the group of taking part in the attempted coup in July 2016. To this day, the government is carrying out severe repression about the member of the groups or the persons linked to the group in one way or another.
Her arrest was so controversial in Turkey because Ayse Ozdogan has end-stage cancer, and despite her poor health, she has been sent to prison. She had already been detained shortly after a first operation on November 12, 2019. Her detention provoked a massive reaction, and an online campaign started by Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a human rights activist and deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), led to her release on December 27, 2019.
However, her health got worse because she could not get her second surgery. The cancer had spread, and Özdoğan’s tooth, palate, zygomatic bone, and lymph nodes were removed in an emergency operation. She, therefore, lost her ability to see and hear due to the trauma her facial bones suffered.
Ayse Ozdogan recalled her hearing with the judge:
I went before the judge while I still had wounds in my mouth and face, and my stitches were not removed. As a result of the judge’s decision to arrest me, I became ill and fainted at the end of the court. Later, due to the interventions on my body and face, I was sobered up and sent to prison. The first day I was alone in a cell, it was cold, and I had to sleep on the floor. I slammed my operated areas against the wall on the bunk bed because I had difficulty walking. When I was taken to the ward, my face and eyes were swollen enough to obscure my vision completely.
Özdoğan suffers from cancer and is facing imprisonment on a terrorism conviction. According to the Human Rights Association, there are currently 1,605 sick prisoners in Turkish prisons, 604 of whom are critically ill. Critics have slammed authorities for refusing to release them. pic.twitter.com/zdnVCSC33L
— Turkish Minute (@TurkishMinuteTM) September 8, 2021
Despite the evident proofs of the health condition of Ayşe Özdoğan and the risks of detention for her care, it was determined in the report of the 3rd Specialization Committee of the Presidency of Forensic Medicine on October 1, 2021, “that Ayşe Özdoğan did not find any recurrence or metastasis in her examinations, was followed at regular intervals without treatment, and did not receive active treatment; she lived her life in prison conditions. It has been concluded that he can continue his sentence alone and that his sentence can be continued in prison by providing regular polyclinic control.”
According to the Human Rights Association (İHD), there are more than 1,605 sick prisoners in Turkish prisons, approximately 604 critically ill. Despite the forensic and medical reports stating that they cannot remain in prison, they are not released.