Serkan Alan / DUVAR
Members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have accused Peoples' Democratic People (HDP) MP Faruk Gergerlioğlu of being a follower of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen after he commented on the rights violations at Keskin Prison in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale.
Gergerlioğlu was speaking at a meeting of parliament's Human Rights Commission when AKP deputy Erol Kavuncu said that it was mostly people convicted of Gülen-linked charges who have been incarcerated at Keskin Prison.
“It is mostly FETÖ convicts who have been incarcerated in this prison. Is your sensitivity stemming from this?” Kavuncu asked, using the government's acronym for the followers of Gülen.
Independent lawmaker Ahmet Şık said that it was quite “absurd” of Kavuncu to refer to the raising of rights violations as “sensitivity.”
“Mr. Erol, it is quite absurd to refer to complaints raised from a prison as 'A lot of FETÖ members are there, is this the reason of the sensitivity?'” Şık said.
The commission president AKP MP Hakan Çavuşoğlu got involved in the verbal spat, saying “there are people in the commission who are acting as FETÖ's spokespeople.”
Gergerlioğlu slammed Çavuşoğlu over his remarks saying he “should not implicate anyone in his ugly comments.” AKP MP Oya Eronat got into the discussion, saying: “We are not implicating; we are directly saying 'it is you.'”
Gergerlioğlu was targeted by AKP lawmakers after he described the poor living conditions of Keskin Prison at the commission.
“When we went there, all of our deputy colleagues have seen that there was especially a problem at women's wards. We have all seen the walls with damp patches, it was an unlivable place. Twenty-one inmates and one child were staying at a ward that was normally allocated for the use of eight-ten people,” Gergerlioğlu told the commission.
“Women inmates there told us that they were treated quite badly in the raids conducted at wards, that prison authorities did not pay attention to COVID-19-related measures, that their underwear were thrown on the floor and that their items in the wardrobes were tossed around. We have not also seen progress on these issues,” he said.