Illustration: Mine Yörük
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Academic Nuriye Gülmen who has been continuing her hunger strike in detention, was taken to intensive care unit yesterday (September 25) evening while she was reading in her room.
Speaking to bianet, one of her attorneys Murat Yılmaz said that Gülmen was taken from her room and was forcibly brought to intensive care unit although she was in a conscious state.
Yılmaz noted that they predicted, that the aim of taking her to intensive care was to prevent her from attending the next hearing of their trial with Semih Özakça which would be held on Sincan Prison Campus on September 28.
After spending 46 days behind bars where they continued their hunger strike, Gülmen and Özakça were transferred to Sincan Prison Campus State Hospital on July 8, 2017 that is located outside of Ankara.
"Her attorneys have not met with Gülmen yet"
Yılmaz added that there was no change in her medical condition as they visited her in Sincan Prison Campus State Hospital yesterday and that she had been preparing for her statement of defence. There was no similar practice regarding teacher Semih Özakça being kept in the same prison campus hospital, the attorney has reported.
Academic Nurüye Gülmen and teacher Semih Özakça, who have been on hunger strike for 202 days to be reinstated to their jobs were arrested on May 23,2017, are being kept in Sincan Prison Campus State Hospital since July 8, 2017.
Since August 15, they have been accompanied by a family member in their hospital rooms.
The first hearing on September 14 was held without the presence of the defendants since they were not brought to the court "for health and security reasons".
Attorney Yılmaz: "Taken to intensive care in conscious state"
Attorney Yılmaz reported that Nuriye Gülmen and her sister Beyza Gülmen who was accompanying her in the hospital were reading as the guardians took Beyza Gülmen out of the room and Nuriye Gülmen to the intensive care unit and added:
"According to the information the attorneys obtained from the doctors who examined Gülmen in the morning, she is in a conscious state, rejects treatment and is only being kept in the intensive care unit of Numune Hospital without being connected to any device".
"She has no company"
"The attorneys are trying to see her.
"According to Numune Hospital's report from July 28, she is not able to live without company but she is not being accompanied by anyone at the moment".
"She wants to attend the hearing"
"She is in a conscious state, there is no new development in her medical situation. Taking her to Numune Hospital in a rush, against her will, just two days before the trial is an attempt to prevent her attending the hospital.
"After the court had transferred the case to Sincan prison campus as the prison gendarmerie reported just one day before the first hearing on September 15, that they could not take Nuriye to Ankara, they have now abducted and brought her to Ankara.
"There is no condition that makes it necessary to keep Nuriye Gülmen in intensive care unit. She is reading her book and preparing and writing her statement of defence on her own".
"Certain people do not wish that she appears at the hearing"
"She wants to attend the hearing on Thursday (September 28) and explain why she started this demonstration and injustices she had faced. To my understanding, certain people do not wish that she attends the hearing. They are either afraid of what she will say or that we would see her then.
"Nuriye Gülmen insistently wants to appear before judge and testify [...]. Taking attorneys into detention two days before the first hearing, gendarmerie's report that they would not bring her to Ankara just one day before the hearing, taking her to Numune Hospital just two days before the second trial where she was already being kept in the prison campus hospital, is in a conscious state and refuses treatment, is to prevent her from attending the hearing".
About Gülmen and Özakça
Nuriye Gülmen was employed at Eskişehir Osmangazi University.
After her contract was not renewed, she brought a lawsuit and won. Seven months later, she started to work at Selçuk University. A day after she started her job, she was suspended from her duty based on the "FETÖ-PDY (Fethullahist Terror Organization-Parallel State Structure) investigation launched into her. She was discharged on January 6, 2017 via the Statutory Decree No. 679.
Semih Özakça was a classroom teacher at Mazıdağı Cumhuriyet Primary School in Mardin. He was discharged via the Statutory Decree No. 675 over "being linked with terror organizations".
Gülmen has been in front of Human Rights Monument on Yüksel Street in the heart of Turkey's capital city of Ankara to stage a sit-in since November 9, 2016 and Özakça since November 23, 2016.
On hunger strike since March 9, 2017
On March 9, Gülmen and Özakça were taken into custody and went on a permanent non—rotational hunger strike in detention.
During their resistance protest that they started in front of Human Rights Monument on Yüksel Street in Ankara, they have been detained and released several times.
On May 22, they were detained for the last time and arrested on the next day. They have been continuing their hunger strike in prison since their arrest on May 23.
On July 8, 2017, they were transferred to Sincan Prison Campus State Hospital that is located outside of Ankara after spending 46 days behind bars where they continued their hunger strike.
On September 15, the first hearing was held without the presence of the defendants as the gendarmerie refused to bring them to the court due to "health and security reasons". The court ruled that Gülmen and Özakça remain further in detention on remand.
On September 26, Gülmen was taken from Sincan Prison Campus Hospital on the 202th day of her hunger strike and was brought to intensive care unit at the Numune Hospital located at a central part of Ankara.
The next hearing will be on September 28.
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