Woman faces detention over alleged Gülen links immediately after giving birth

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A woman who gave birth in the early hours of the new year in the Turkish capital city of Ankara faces detention due to her alleged links to the Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016, according to her brother.

“My sister delivered a baby at the Ankara Keçiören Medical Park Hospital tonight. Her name is Hacer Yıldırım. The baby is in intensive care because of amniotic fluid in the lungs. Police officers are waiting at the door to detain her,” Yıldırım’s brother Ramazan Gözel tweeted.

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a Turkish human rights activist, medical doctor and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy, on Friday tweeted a photo of Yıldırım’s hospital room where a police officer is seen waiting, “Turkey picture from the first day of 2021. There is a police officer in the hospital room of Hacer Yıldırım just after she gave birth. The baby has breathing problems and is in intensive care. Is there law, is there democracy in this country?”

The woman faces a detention warrant due to alleged use of ByLock, a smartphone application believed by Turkish authorities to have been popular among the movement’s followers, according to Gergerlioğlu.

Since the failed coup in July 2016, Turkey has been conducting a massive witch-hunt against people from all walks of life on charges of “coup involvement.”

Many women jailed with their young children immediately after delivery or while pregnant are believed to be linked to the Gülen movement.

Turkish law requires postponement of the arrest of pregnant women until they give birth and the infant reaches the age of six months; however, dozens of pregnant women have been arrested as part of a large-scale crackdown targeting followers of the movement, which strongly denies any involvement in the failed putsch.

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