Health violations experienced by 12 women prisoners

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  • 14:00 28 February 2024
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ANKARA - 12 women prisoners in Sincan Women's Closed Prison pointed out that their treatment was prevented and talked about the health violations they experienced.

In Sincan Women's Closed Prison, prisoners are not taken to the hospital many times because the soldiers do not come. For this reason, the prisoners' hospital appointments are cancelled and a transfer process is started from scratch. Prisoners may wait at least 8 months to 1 year for appointments for procedures such as MRI, tomography, mammography, endoscopy and colonoscopy. If the soldiers does not arrive, these appointments are cancelled and the process is restarted. Prisoners are even taken to the hospital located on the prison campus only once a week.
 
Many violations such as the imposition of handcuffed examination, the presence of a male soldier inside during the examination and the soldier taking the arm are some of the difficulties experienced by the prisoners. Doctors' sometimes insensitive or discriminatory practices towards prisoners also eliminate healthy treatment. The biggest repercussion of the drug crisis in Turkey is on prisons. Medicines are brought after 1 week at the earliest. Sometimes it can take months for prisoners to receive the medicines they paid for. Prisoners whose treatment rights were denied talked about the problems they experienced.
 
PRISONERS TOLD
 
Zerrin Yılmaz: I have been waiting for a goiter ultrasound for about 5 months. I haven't been taken yet. It is not clear when I will be taken away. The cream that the dermatologist wrote last summer and said that I should use it in the summer months arrived 6 months later, in the winter. Now, the medicine prescribed by the surgeon was not brought even after 3 weeks. The petitions I wrote for the infirmary are lost.
 
Muhabbet Kurt: I went to the dentist at Campus Hospital 14 months ago. It was stated that root canal treatment was required for 2 of my teeth. However, I have not been taken for 14 months. This caused damage to 2 of my teeth and jawbone. I was referred to the dermatology department for 4 months. However, although I was told many times that I would go, it was cancelled and I was not taken.
 
HER DISEASE STARTED IN PRISON
 
Mukaddes Kubilay: Many of my illnesses started while I am in prison. The diseases progressed because I am not treated or was treated late. My right to health was denied, sometimes due to handcuffed examination and sometimes due to the doctor's approach. I have many diseases such as high blood pressure, migraine, lumbar and neck hernia and asthma. It was decided that I would start a physical therapy session about 7-8 months ago for a cervical disc herniation. However, I was not taken regularly to the sessions that started months later. Although I was supposed to be taken for 10 days without interruption, I was taken for 1 day and not taken for 9 days. My condition worsened as I was held in cold custody again. For this reason, I could not continue the sessions. Although I am 69 years old and I need to have regular mammograms and ultrasounds against the risk of breast cancer, appointments are spread out over a long period of time. Due to all these disruptions, no results can be achieved. Istanbul Institution of Forensic Medicine (ATK), to which I was taken due to my illnesses, gave a report that, "she could remain in prison" despite all this.
 
PRACTICE RESULTING IN TORTURE
 
Zeynep Han Bingöl: I have many diseases such as osteoporosis, blood pressure, migraine, stomach disorders, cervical disc herniation, breast mass, arthritis in the knees. I need to have regular mammograms for a lump in my breast. However, I have been waiting for an appointment for 1 year. I was subjected to ill-treatment by doctors and healthcare professionals during endoscopy and colonoscopy performed under anesthesia due to stomach and intestinal problems. During the intervention on the thickening of the uterine wall, I was subjected to torture by the operating officers. Recently, we are not taken to the hospital because the military does not come.
 
RISK OF LATE DIAGNOSIS
 
Rozerin Kurt: I could not be examined at the Dermatology Department, where I went for treatment, because the male soldier insisted on staying in the room. Goiter ultrasound, ultrasound due to the presence of a mass in the breast, and neck MRI requested by the doctor to predict the source of neck pain have not been performed for months. To our applications regarding the issue, the response is 'There is nothing we can do, the military is not coming'.
 
SHE MAY LOSE HER EYE
 
Seriously ill prisoner Selver Yıldırım: My eye pain and vision loss started in 2014. While I was in Elbistan Prison, I was transferred to Elbistan State Hospital due to illness. I had to return because of the imposition of handcuffed examination for months. It took 7 years for the eye problem to be diagnosed. I was diagnosed with SSRC (fluid leak) and if I had been treated I may have never experienced any vision loss. However, there is a vision loss of up to 85 percent. I can't see at all in 1 eye. First, I was sent to Sütçü Imam University and then to Antep. However, treatment could not be provided due to the approach of the doctors and the hospital. Finally, laser treatment started to be performed at Bilkent Hospital. Here too, my pain increased due to the lack of continuous and healthy treatment. Neither the lenses prescribed by the doctor nor the sunglasses are given by the prison administration. In our application to postpone the execution, the committee gave a report that 'she can stay in prison because there is no danger to her life'. Finally, I could not be examined at Etlik City Hospital, where I went for examination, because they imposed handcuffed examination.
 
NO RESULTS AND NO REFERRAL
 
Esra Sayektaş: Before the new year, I went to the infirmary due to a heart problem. I wanted to have it checked because I lost my father and uncle after a heart attack (genetic similarity). One day later, they took blood from the infirmary. After a month passed, I went back to the infirmary and asked about the situation. There were no test results or a cardiology referral. I've been waiting for over 2 months.
 
MEDICATIONS ARE NOT BROUGHT
 
Pınar Tikit: I have been receiving periodic treatment for the cyst in my brain since 2023. I haven't had any problems with this issue for a long time, but there have been problems with the controls for months. Referrals are either not made at all or are made months later. We have been waiting for a referral to the hospital for months. We are even taken to the infirmary very late. Finally, I told the prison administration that I am an ill prisoner and then I was transferred. The medicines prescribed by doctors are not brought.
 
POSTPONEMENT WITH REASONS
 
Alev Yarar: We have been experiencing serious problems regarding our health rights for more than a year. Although access to health is a fundamental right, it is ignored. I am experiencing problems such as treatment disruptions, late admission to the hospital and not even being given information about blood results or our health. An MRI has been requested by the Neurologist for 1 year, but it has still not been done. When I applied to ask why, the answer was "There are too many people waiting for MRI scans." I went to the Ear Nose and Throat Department 3 months ago. A test was requested by the doctor and I was referred to Sincan State Hospital, where this would be done, but I have not been taken yet. I have been referred to the General Surgery Department for 2 months, but I still have not been taken. To my applications asking why my hospital transfers were not made, they keep saying 'there are no soldiers, hospitals are busy, many people are waiting for hospital transfer'. The medicines we prescribe through the infirmary are not given either. There is no access to medicine either.
 
URGENT REFERRAL AFTER 20 DAYS
 
Zelal Bilgin: I wanted to go to the infirmary because of the urinary tract infection I had. When I was told by the guards that there was no doctor in the infirmary, I wanted to go to the Emergency Department. They said they would not take me without any excuse. I couldn't urinate for 8 hours. After I came out, I came out with blood and cuts. When my pain increased, we informed the guards again, but they did not take me away. 5 days later, when another friend of mine from the ward was taken to the infirmary and asked why they didn't take me; They said I went to the infirmary 10 days ago and they asked me to write a petition again to be able to go there next week. Even though we wrote petitions and notified them verbally many times, this was their approach. 15 days after my illness, I was taken to the infirmary due to my application and complaints. Although the infirmary doctor decided to refer me to the emergency room, I was taken 5 days later. Now I've been waiting for an ultrasound for months. After a certain age, some checks need to be done routinely. Like mammography, when the appointment date arrives but the military does not come and take it away, the appointment is cancelled and rescheduled months later. The internal consequences of the collapsed health system are more severe. Either there are staff who do not do their job or they make it more unhealthy. I think their mission is to make people unhealthy, and I do not consider any of these practices independent of isolation policies. If the opposite situation were not the case, our legal applications would be taken into consideration and the problem would be solved.
 
Ayla Akat Ata: For referrals to Bilkent City Hospital, I am held in a 1 centare single-person ring throughout the day since there is no prisoner ward inside the hospital. The use of single-person rings, which have a living space of 1 centare, for shipping operations causes serious problems. When we do not remind people about the necessary treatments, examination procedures are not performed. Medicines are either not brought at all, or if they are brought, they are usually brought with equivalents. Because sufficient care is not taken in referrals to the campus, they are sometimes returned without action. Requests to go to the infirmary were met in a timely manner. Referrals such as MRI do not occur on time. Dental referrals are made very late. Many dental diseases are not examined or treated because they are considered cosmetic.
 
Salver Ispir: I was not treated at Etlik City Hospital, where I was transferred, because they imposed a handcuffed examination.
 
MA / Dicle Müftüoğlu - Sincan Women's Closed Prison
 

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