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Pregnant, ailing women among 4 arrested in Turkey’s Osmaniye due to Gülen links

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A pregnant woman and another woman suffering from a heart problem were among four women arrested in the southern Turkish province of Osmaniye on terrorism charges due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, Bold Medya reported on Thursday.

Thirteen women, who are all housewives, were detained in a police operation in Osmaniye earlier this week targeting followers of the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup attempt in July 2016. Nine of the women were released pending trial while four of them were arrested after they appeared in court on Thursday.

One of the woman is 35-year-old H.Ç., who has three children and is expecting her fourth. Although her lawyer said H.Ç. has complications in her pregnancy and is bleeding, she was still arrested. The other woman is 50-year-old H.C., who suffers from chronic heart disease and had to be hospitalized after the court’s arrest decision because she fell extremely ill.

The women were reportedly subjected to psychological pressure and forced to become informants while they in police custody.

The women’s fundraisers for students in need and their participation in weekly religious talks are cited as evidence of terrorist organization membership in their dossiers.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 50,000 others were jailed, and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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