Justice Ministry denies mistreatment claims by arrested Turkish novelist Aslı Erdoğan
ANKARAThe Justice Ministry has rejected claims by award-winning Turkish novelist Aslı Erdoğan that she has been mistreated in prison, after she was arrested over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Aug. 20.
“The prisoner has been taken out for air for at least one and half hour each day throughout her period in solitary confinement. With the decision of the [prison] administration and monitoring committee, she was placed in the B-6 room, which she requested in an application on Aug. 25,” the ministry said in a statement.
“She was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome [IBS] and asthma during the institution medic’s initial admission examination and the prescribed drugs were delivered to her on Aug. 23. She bought a total of 18 liters of water between Aug. 22 and Aug. 24 via the institution’s canteen and it was delivered to her,” it added.
The ministry also stated that Erdoğan was provided with a bed, clean blanket, cover sheet and pillow upon her arrival at prison on Aug. 19.
A member of daily Özgür Gündem’s advisory board and columnist, Erdoğan had previously told Cumhuriyet via her lawyer that the way she is being treated in prison would ultimately leave “permanent physical damage.”
“They are treating me in a way that will leave permanent damage on my body,” she said, adding that she is forced to sleep in a bed that someone previously urinated in.
“I’ve been experiencing problems in my intestines for 10 years. My pancreas and digestive system doesn’t work properly, but my medicine has not been given to me for five days. I am diabetic and I need a special nutrition. But in jail I am only able to eat yoghurt … Also, even though I suffer from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, I have not been allowed access to open air [since entering prison],” Erdoğan said.
During her detention, she had also experienced health problems and was taken to hospital before returning to the holding cell.