Campaign seeks pardon for condemned mother and daughters
Demir Kılınç and four-month-old twin sisters Özgür and Lorin will stay in prison for two years and one month, starting from May 19. AA photoA petition campaign has opened for the pardoning of a woman who is set to be imprisoned for over two years, along with her four-month-old twins.
Mülkiye Demir Kılınç was convicted for “aiding a terror organization” and will be imprisoned on May 19, along with her four-month-old twin babies. An online campaign has thus been started at change.org, requesting that Turkish President Abdullah Gül intervene for Kılınç’s acquittal.
Kılınç and four-month-old twin sisters Özgür and Lorin will stay in prison for two years and one month, starting from May 19.
“There must be another way. Kılınç’s sentence could be converted into a monetary fine, or the president could, using the powers vested in him, grant her a pardon. We have started this petition as an act of solidarity with the infant twins Özgür and Lorin, in the hopes of making our voices heard far and wide, to gather as much support as possible,” said the petition at change.org. More than 30,000 signatures have been collected on the website so far, while approximately 2,000 more signatures are needed to send it to the president.
Kılınç was working as a sales representative at the Mesopotamian Culture Center. When one of her clients was caught by the police and arrested on charges of “smuggling and belonging to a terrorist organization” she also faced charges of helping a terror organization by sending them books. Her customer was allegedly sending the books to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants staying in the mountains.
Over this period of the trials, she married and became pregnant with twin babies. However, she was sentenced to two years and one month during her pregnancy.
The sentence, delivered by the Istanbul 16th High Criminal Court was then approved by the Court of Appeals, although the sentence was postponed for six months until May 19 on the grounds that her babies were only two months old.
“I don’t have any friends or relatives who can take care of both of them, and so I have no choice, but to take them with me. My children will spend this critical period of their development in prison, where there isn’t even room for them to crawl around. Will I be able to get the food they need or not, that’s what I’m worried about’, Kılınç had said in earlier interviews.
She added that her friends from Batman Municipality’s Women Solidarity Center had started a campaign titled “Özgür and Lorin should not grow up in prison.”
The president has the right to pardon convicts on the grounds that they have a serious sickness.
Gül said in January that it was wrong to assume he had the authority to directly pardon anyone, referring to the case of Fatih Hilmioğlu, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison for his alleged involvement in the Ergenekon coup plot case, had been diagnosed with stage three liver cancer, his family said earlier this month.
“I can only step in if files come before me after a certain procedure from the [Council of] Forensic Medicine. In this regard, I wish for the files both of those who are ill and those who are becoming very old to reach me at once, so that I can do my part,” Gül said.
“There are instructions for the acceleration of these matters and to have these works done more meticulously,” he added. Gül stressed there were many old and ill convicts or detainees.