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Baby accompanying mother in prison joins 700 other kids growing up behind bars

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Selma Betül Urunga, a 2-year-old whose parents were jailed as part of a post-coup crackdown targeting Gülen movement followers, has been sent to Mersin Prison to live with her mother, yet another child in Turkey’s prisons, where over 700 children aged 0-6 years are growing up in dire conditions.

According to Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, the child’s mother was given a 9-year prison sentence over Gülen links last week, and her father has been in jail for more than 16 months, sentenced to 10 years.

Selma Betül was given to her jailed mother late Wednesday.

Turkey accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016, although it strongly denies any involvement.

Since then more than half a million people have been subjected to prosecution for alleged Gülen ties, and currently some 30,000 people, nearly 10,000 of them women, are in jail for alleged membership in the movement.

The Urunga family has two other children, aged 6 and 8, and they will be cared for by their grandparents.

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