Prize-winning novelist Aslı Erdoğan, who was arrested over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Aug. 20, has said she is being treated in a way that will leave “permanent physical damage” in the prison she serves in Istanbul’s Bakırköy.
Erdoğan, a member of daily Özgür Gündem’s advisory board and columnist, is being held in solitary confinement and says she has been unable to get her necessary medicine for five days.
“They are treating me in a way that will leave permanent damage on my body,” she told daily Cumhuriyet through her lawyer, Nesrullah Oğuz, 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.
She had experienced health problems while in detention and was taken to hospital before returning to the holding cell. She was later arrested on charges of “membership of terrorist organization” and “undermining national unity.”
Erdoğan added that she is “aware of the solidarity being shown for her” on the outside.
“I’m aware that great efforts are being spent. I’m aware of the sincerity and feelings in the messages that I receive. It may sound very vain, but I thank you very much lot,” she said.
Erdoğan was detained with other employees of Özgür Gündem after a court last week ordered for it to be closed down for allegedly engaging in propaganda of the PKK.