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Former Turkish Parliament Speaker Arınç Appeals for Compassion for Elderly and Ill Inmates

Former Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM), Bülent Arınç, called on the Forensic Medicine Institution (Adli Tıp Kurumu) to abandon the feelings of ‘revenge and vengeance’ when dealing with elderly and sick prisoners. In recent days, Mustafa Sait Türk, an 88-year-old bedridden patient with a 98% disability and reportedly a member of the Gülen Movement, was taken to prison on a stretcher due to a report from the Forensic Medicine Institution.

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DIED ON THE DAY OF HIS RELEASE

Mehmet Emin Özkan, an 83-year-old who had been in prison for 26 years, suffered five heart attacks during his time in prison. Photos of Özkan handcuffed to a bed stirred public outrage on social media.

In İskenderun M Type Closed Prison, 65-year-old sick prisoner Mehmet Yıldızbakan, who had been detained for 5 years, lost his life on the day he was supposed to be released in 2017.

In Kırıklar F Type Prison, sick prisoner Yusuf Bekmezci passed away on January 4, 2022, at İzmir Katip Çelebi University İzmir Atatürk Training and Research Hospital.

86-year-old Nusret Muğla, who contracted the coronavirus in prison, was also among the prisoners who left the prison in a coffin.

FORENSIC MEDICINE IS AN OBSTACLE

Efforts related to sick and elderly prisoners did not prevent these deaths. Former Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ expressed his discomfort with the situation.

Arınç mentioned that, after discussing with the concerned parties, the only obstacle to the release of sick and elderly prisoners is the reports issued by the staff of the Forensic Medicine Institution.

NOT REVENGE, BUT JUSTICE

Bülent Arınç stated: “Nurettin Topçu says, ‘Where there is no mercy, there is no human,’ and continues, ‘Humanity is built on mercy.’ Psychiatrist Kemal Sayar also says, ‘Mercy makes the world a safe place for humans and other creatures; mercy is not about feeling pity but not causing pain.'”

He went on to discuss the dire conditions of prisoners, especially those with advanced illnesses and the elderly, and how the current situation in prisons does not favor their treatment and rehabilitation.

He questioned the logic and justice of keeping elderly individuals, who cannot even take care of their basic needs, incarcerated.

Highlighting the hardships and challenges faced by prisoners due to the lack of necessary medical reports from the Forensic Medicine Institution, Arınç criticized the institution’s approach. He called for justice, conscience, and compassion instead of revenge.

Arınç concluded by emphasizing the importance of adopting a compassionate approach and urged concerned authorities to show determination in solving this issue, as it concerns human life, mercy, justice, and conscience.

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