A university student detained while protesting the president's appointment of a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) member as rector of Boğaziçi University, Şilan Delipalta, said that her imprisonment highlighted for her the barriers to access to feminine hygiene products in Turkish prisons.
"The prices of feminine pads in here are the same as on the outside, but they feel much more expensive. I believe that there are many people in here who don't have access to these products," Delipalta told medyaport.net in an interview.
The student was detained during demonstrations in Istanbul's Kadıköy district condemning the detention of other students for protesting Melih Bulu's appointment as rector. She is being held in Istanbul's Bakırköy Prison.
"My favorite thing in here is the courtyard. I watch a bunch of women walk around in this small space. They stop when they see me and ask if I'm alright and if I need anything."
Delipalta was detained by three male officers, one of whom bent her arm back and told her to "yell out slogans now if [she] can," and threatened her, saying that "things will get worse" if she protested her detention while throwing her into a police vehicle.
"There were two others in there, one student and one civilian who protested the detentions. The former was driving while they protested, and police pulled them out of their vehicle and detained them. Their dog was left in the car, so they were worried about that."
Delipalta was made to wait at the police station overnight to see a prosecutor, who transferred them to the courts with a request for their arrest, she said.
"I didn't see the judge's eyes once during the hearing. He never looked at us. We were arrested by someone who never even saw our faces or looked into our eyes," Delipalta said.
Delipalta is among the nine students who are still under arrest on charges related to the Boğaziçi University protests.