An appeals court on June 11 upheld a nine year, six month prison sentence for former teacher Özdoğan. She currently faces years in prison despite severe health problems.
The hashtags #AyşeÖzdoğanTutuklanmasın (Don’t arrest Ayşe Özdoğan) and #AyşeÖzdoğanİçinSesOl (Be a voice for Ayşe Özdoğan) were shared widely by Turkish social media users to appeal the Turkish government.
Özdoğan and her husband were detained on April 8, 2019 for alleged links to the Gülen movement. She was released due to her son’s heart condition, but her husband was sent to prison in southern Antalya province.
Özdoğan developed cancer seven months later and underwent an operation on November 12, 2019. However, she was arrested shortly after, convicted and sentenced to nine years, six months in prison.
Özdoğan’s arrest sparked outrage, and thanks to an online campaign started by Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a human rights activist and former deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), she was released on appeal on December 27, 2019.
It was already too late for her second surgery, however, as the cancer had spread. Özdoğan’s tooth, palate, zygomatic bone and lymph nodes were removed in an emergency operation. Özdoğan lost her ability to see and hear after the operation due to the trauma her facial bones suffered. Continue