29 year story of ill prisoner Güler

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  • 12:16 27 November 2022
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DİYARBAKIR - Prisoner Abdulselam Güler, whose village was burned to the ground by Turkish soldiers and forced to migration is not released despite his many illnesses. İnci Güler has been screaming for her brother's freedom at the Justice Watch for months.
 
Each member of the Güler family, who moved to the city center after the forced evacuation of the Delit rural neighborhood of Diyarbakır's Kulp district in 1991, faced state violence many times. While Samet and Esat Güler brothers joined the PKK, father İhsan Güler was put in prison. Over time, mother Nuriye and father İhsan passed away. Abdulselam Güler (53), one of the brothers who participated in the democratic rights-seeking actions against systematic oppression, was arrested by the State Security Court (DGM) in 1993 when he was only 22 years old. Güler, who has been imprisoned for 29 years, was transferred to Diyarbakır, Bingöl, Ordu, Siirt and Bandırma prisons. Guler, who suffered from many diseases he caught in prison, is now struggling with diseases such as heart failure, high blood pressure and shortness of breath. His sister İnci Güler Altındağ, who knew Güler in prison, who was expected to be released on May 19, 2023, participated in the ongoing Justice Watch, which was started by his relatives in Diyarbakır on November 16, 2021 for his brother's release.
 
'WE ARE ACCUSTOMED TO STATE VIOLENCE'
 
Inci Güler Altındağ, who told our agency about her family members' experiences and her brother's situation, said, “When my brother first sent to prison, he was tortured for 50 days that he could not stand up due to torture. They tortured them so much that even the rope marks on their hands were visible when we went to the first visit. They were in a horrible state. After my brother and my elder brother joined the PKK, the pressure increased even more. After they left, they burned our house. They said, 'We will not let you live here' and indeed they did not, they were raiding our house every day, saying 'it is the home of terrorists'. We have been familiar with the oppression of the state since our childhood."
 
'I GOT TO KNOW MY BROTHER WHEN HE WAS IN PRISON'
 
Explaining that his brother was sent to prison during the preparation process for university, Altındağ said, “My brother was arrested while preparing for the exam. He was a person who loved to live. I got to know my brother during prison visits. We grew up together, but I don't know about his temper, because as two brothers from the same family, we never knew each other. After our house was burned, my father was also arrested. After our house was burned by the state, we were able to stay in our own house for 2-3 months. The soldiers kept raiding our house. Then we settled in the center of Diyarbakır.”
 
'WE WERE PRAYING'
 
Altındağ said, “We were very sad when my brother was arrested, because we knew that he would be punished because of my brothers who joined the PKK. We were praying that they would not kill them by torture in custody. It was worse than death. They tortured them every day and sentenced them to life imprisonment. They were exiled to many prisons. We wandered around Turkey for prison visits. He was brought to the prison of Ordu, Bingöl, Siirt, Bandırma and finally Diyarbakır.  No state has a prisoner who has served 30 years. They did this to us because we are Kurds."
 
'HIS FREEDOM IS MY FREEDOM'
 
Emphasizing that his brother's illnesses became more serious after he was imprisoned, Altındağ concluded: “When my brother went to prison, he had no illness. Due to the torture he suffered, he now has a heart condition. He has high blood pressure. They say to him 'you're fine, it's normal' They don't even increase the dosage of the drugs. 29 years is easy to say. Despite oppression, exile and torture, we have been resisting for years. We stand up against all the oppression of the state. Sick prisoners are driven to death on purpose. My brother's freedom will be my freedom too. We make our voices heard, but the state plays the deaf and dumb.”
 
MA / Zerrin Sargut

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