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Women miscarry in Turkish prisons due to negligence: Rights advocate MP

Nurhayat Yildiz fell pregnant with twins in the third year of her marriage after initially struggling to conceive – but she now has no reason to celebrate after she miscarried in a Turkish prison.

At least three women have lost their babies allegedly due to negligence in three different prisons across Turkey within the last four months, according to a report by Birgun daily on Wednesday.

“There are women in prisons who have miscarriages without anyone hearing about it. Women see it as a private issue and thus do not share it with other people, but I define these incidents of women losing their children in prisons as murders. I’m very angry about what has happened,”  said pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Kocaeli MP Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu.

Speaking to Ismail Ari from Birgun,  the MP stated that the number of women who have suffered miscarriages in Turkish prisons might be more than it is known by the public.

Yildiz, an inmate held in Sinop E Type Prison in Turkey’s Sinop province along the Black Sea, lost her twin babies on the 19th week of her pregnancy.

Due to health problems, Yildiz reportedly fell pregnant with twins finally on the third year of her marriage.

Another woman jailed in the Bandirma prison in western Balikesir province, Gulden Asik suffered a miscarriage during the seventh week of her pregnancy. The miscarriage reportedly followed her unrequited written demands to be sent to the prison’s infirmary.

Asik, who was transferred to a hospital to have an abortion following the miscarriage on June 1, was sent back to the prison the very next day.

Hanife Ciftci, who was having a high-risk pregnancy in the Osmaniye prison in Turkey’s southern Osmaniye province also suffered a miscarriage on the eighth week of her pregnancy, Birgun reported.

The woman reportedly lost her baby after she started having contractions and bleeding before the officers were able to transfer her to a hospital. Ciftci was sent back to jail immediately after her treatment was over.

“Pregnant women with a high risk of miscarriage are still being arrested and kept in prisons. Women who have miscarriages and their families are so sad about this,” Gergerlioglu added.

Canan Gullu, head of the Federation of the Women Associations of Turkey, emphasized that they cannot talk to anyone about women’s problems in Turkish prisons.

“The jails are too crowded and there is the problem of hygiene. There are pregnant women in prisons who give birth in unhealthy conditions. There are also those who have miscarriages and those who cannot buy baby formulas. What’s going on in those places is a violation of human rights,” Gullu elaborated.

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