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Turkey arrests 70-year-old mother of disabled children over terror charges

An ill 70-year old mother of two disabled children and her husband were arrested on terror-related charges,  the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency reported on Friday.

According to a report by the Mezopotamya Agency (MA) on Friday, Turkish police detained Elif Kisa, a former district organization head of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) along with her husband Ali Kisa on December 3.

Ali Kisa is the current co-chair position at the HDP’s Elbistan district organization in the southern Kahramanmaras province — a position that was formerly held by his wife Elif.

A local court reportedly had the couple arrested on terror-related offenses, ignoring the fact that their two disabled children will be left at home alone, unable to take care of themselves.

MA reported that Ali Kisa was released by the court soon after their family lawyer filed two separate objections to the court’s decision to arrest the pro-Kurdish officials.

However, the same court reportedly ruled to reject the objection filed for Elif Kisa and she was sent to Elbistan E-type Closed Prison for “membership in a terrorist organization.”

The couple initially had been detained on January 4, 2017. While Elif Kisa was released soon afterward, her husband was arrested on the charge of “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.”

Ali Kisa was acquitted in the case after spending seven months in Elbistan E-type Closed Prison pending trial.

The couple was then detained for a second time on November 13, 2019, and they were released soon afterward.

According to MA’s report, Ali Kisa was subjected to psychological torture while he was in custody for refusing to sign a statement including a confession that “he was a terrorist organization member and he helped the organization willingly.”

HDP lawmaker Mahmut Togrul on Thursday said in the parliament that one of the couple’s children is mentally disabled while the other one has hearing and speech impairment.

“The two children are not able to take care of one another and maintain their lives at home by themselves. The family expressed this fact under custody but they were arrested anyway,” the MP underlined.

Ahmet Kisa, the child with hearing and speech impairment, on Friday asked prison authorities in a tweet to allow her mother to take her medicine.

“My mother takes medicine regularly. She has so many diseases. They [prison authorities] did not let her take her medicine. … Just give her the medicine back and let her go,” Ahmet tweeted.

Elif Kisa reportedly suffers from a number of ailments that include depression, chronic headache, weak bloodstream, and urinary tract infection (UTI).

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government blames the pro-Kurdish HDP for having connections to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Ankara designates PKK, an armed militant group that has been fighting a separatist insurgency for the Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984, as a terrorist organization.

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