The lawyers of the MLSA’s Legal Team visited journalists Nedim Türfent and Ziya Ataman who have been incarcerated in the Van High Security Prison.
Journalist Ziya Ataman who has been imprisoned for more than six years had previously notified his lawyers during a visit that his health deteriorated and restrictions in line with the precautions against the pandemic have interfered with his right to access healthcare.
Ataman voiced his complaints by saying that “Unless you are twisting in pain or the infirmary is convinced that it is indeed a serious condition, it is almost impossible for one to be referred to a hospital.”
Ataman, who has already been diagnosed with asthma said that he is also experiencing problems such as cardiac arrhythmia and dyspepsia. Ataman complained that problems with being referred to a proper hospital makes it hard for these problems to be diagnosed. Ataman said that he has been prescribed many drugs but he has no idea if these drugs work as it is quite difficult to determine while he is incarcerated.
‘Letters are a source of news as well as hope for us’
Recalling the restrictions imposed upon the meeting with his lawyers, journalist Nedim Türfent said he still cannot make sense of such a decision. Upon the request of the prison administration, Türfent’s meetings with his lawyers have been restricted. The Legal Team MLSA has taken the arbitrary decision to the Constitutional Court.
Emphasizing that he has the correspondence which was the given reason for the decision to restrict meetings with his lawyers, Türfent said, “The decision was taken because of a translation request of the researchers at the New York University. Afterwards, they sent me a letter which contained this request. You know that our letters are read. That letter was also read and there was no problem. But because my lawyer also conveyed that request to me, meetings with my lawyers are restricted. It is quite difficult to understand the reason and the purpose of the decision.”
Journalists Türfent and Ataman shared that they watch the news channels, but their biggest source of news are letters. Saying that “letters are a source of news as well as hope for us”, journalists said that they expect to receive more letters from journalists which they take as necessary for professional solidarity.