After the 2016 military coup attempt in Turkey, the country has been run in a dictatorial manner. The president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has made it so citizens who speak out or have allegations on them are detained. “Since the coup attempt, about 80,000 people have been jailed pending trial and some 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others sacked or suspended from their jobs,” according to Charles Mostoller on Reuters.

Women, children and babies have been some of the victims of this coup attempts consequences. According to Advocates of Silenced Turkey and Set Them Free, there are 864 babies jailed with their mothers.

Now, with the Coronavirus outbreak and threat, prisons in Turkey are in fragile conditions.

“A few days ago the ?stanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that there were 44 prisoners with COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus. Gergerlio?lu said inmates who tested positive were put back in their usual wards, where dozens of prisoners are kept in a relatively tight space,” said Stockholm Center for Freedom.

This is in regards to the Silivri Istanbul Prison, in which people are concerned for the safety of the prisoners.

The Turkish parliament passed a bill allowing thousands of prisoners to be released due to COVID-19 safety concerns in April.

“However, political prisoners who are convicted or being held in pre-trial detention over “terror or/and coup” links were exempted,” said TurkeyPurge.

This means that the thousands of people detained after the 2016 military coup attempt, the doctors, nurses, lawyers, judges, women and children, are still at risk.

On “Set Them Free” Twitter, hundreds of stories of people affected by the coup attempt can be found. Most recently, a little boy named Ahmet was a victim. He was denied his healthcare rights and traveling to treat his cancer. His father was in prison and couldn’t tend to his son. Unfortunately, Ahmet passed away. 

This dictatorial rule and conflict has made it so thousands of people are unable to visit their country without arrest and have to adapt to foreign lands without seeing their families and staying far from their culture. This conflict has been ongoing for too long, and this pandemic has shown that Turkey lacks basic humanitarian laws.

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