July 11th, 2009

37 year old Güler Zere had cancer while she was kept in Elbistan Closed (E-Type) Prison in order to serve the execution of imprisonment sentence given by Malatya State Security Court.

At this moment there is continuing a large campaign by progressive lawyers, associations, human rights defenders, democratic mass organisations in Turkey and Europe. There have been organized several protests and support activities, demanding freedom for Güler Zere.

Though there already exist 3 different medical reports, stating that the conditions of prison are not appropriate to the health condition of Guler Zere , prison and government authorities deny her release.

There has already been filed a complaint against the prison prosecutor of Elbistan, Orhan Demir, because he ignored the forensic medical reportsof   the Medical Faculty of Cukurova University and ordered to transfer Güler to another Forensic Medical Institute from Adana to Istanbul, which is connected with a 28 hours trip by car.

Güler quickly approaches to death. If she would be released, doctors give her a chance to survive of 30%. Pressure has to be heightened.

We call for International  Solidarity to free Güler Zere, to put an end to this isolation torture, which has caused and might cause many other deaths.


These are the last pictures from Guler, at her prison cell in Balcali hospital

Balcali hospital in Adana, 8th July 2009

Güler Zere with her father, Haydar Zere

The pictures were published by the Legal Bureau of the People

(Halkin Hukuk Bürosu) on 10th July 2009.















 Since yesterday noon, 10th of July 2009, Güler’s father, Haydar Zere, has started a sit-in protest along with members of the Association of prisoners’ families TAYAD, in front of the Balcali hospital in Adana.

 He said: “I will sit there, until Güler is being released”.

For further news and a petition please visit Güler Zere’s homepage:



1) Statement of the Legal Bureau of the people

2) Press release of TAYAD from 6th July, revealing the torture Güler Zere suffered by her transport to Istanbul



Turkish prisons where Isolation/Treatment model is applied, are on the verge of a new death. Although Turkey has executed all international agreements relating to protection of human rights and rights of prisoners/convicted, violation of rights and deaths continue in its prisons. The new target of the new system in which, according to the findings of independent human right organizations, 306 people died only between the years of 2000-2009, is Güler Zere, who is destitute of her freedom 37 years old political woman prisoner.

Güler Zere had cancer while she was kept in Elbistan Clsed Prison in order to serve the execution of imprisonment sentence given by Malatya State Security Court. Her illness was diagnosed late due to the prison conditions. She was not benefited from physician aid within the required time. Also after her illness was diagnosed, her treatment was not commenced by reason of “treatment queue” and “no space in prisoner dorm”. As a result of that, her illness progressed and became life-critical. Today, her doctors state that even with an effective and sufficient medical aid, her chance to live is 30%.

It must be accepted as an exact ill-treatment to increase her sorrow and grief relating to a punishment formed of “being divested of freedom for the sentenced period”. Likewise, it is not required to have an intent to do harm on a prisoner for ill-treatment. Negligence as a result of “complete insufficiency or a series of individual events” in service providing may lead the same result. Failure/negligence in providing treatment possibilities should be evaluated in this scope. As a matter of fact, negligence exhibited by the execution office during the treatment period lead it to bring to an irreversible point in terms of health. In this case, it is understood that “right to life” guaranteed by Article 2 and “prohibition of torture and ill-treatment” guaranteed by Article 3 of Human Rights European Charter were violated.

As per Article 16 of the Law on the Execution of Sentences and Security Measures numbered 5275 in force in Turkey, it is regulated to revoke the execution in cases where the sentence may create an effect beyond its purposes. As per the Paragraph 2 of the same article, execution of the sentence shall be revoked in cases where execution of the sentence in the hospital detention ward constitutes a definite danger for the life of the prisoner for some illnesses for which there is no possibility of treatment medically or the treatment of which may last long. When the type of the illness Güler ZERE had and the problems experienced during the treatment period are evaluated together, it is obligatory to evaluate the case in this scope. However, despite such obligation, no result could be obtained from applications made for such purpose until today.

Güler ZERE must be freed immediately considering the clear law provisions. It must not be forgotten that behavior and application on the contrary will lead to a new death. We hereby call the public opinion not to let this death.


For solidarity with GÜLER ZERE

Mail: Çukurova Üniversitesi Balcalı Araştırma Hastanesi Mahkum Koğuşu/ADANA

And Karataş Hapishanesi/ADANA


T.R. Ministry of Justice



July 6, 2009



The cancer patient Güler Zere is still in the Balcali university hospital in Adana (south-eastern Turkey).

Even though a report by the forensic medicine institution in Adana confirms that imprisoning Güler Zere is inappropriate because of the state of her health, and that continuing to imprison her constitutes a threat to her life, she has not been released.

Even though the forensic medicine institution’s report was clear and unambiguous, the Elbistan prosecutor demanded a supplementary report. The prosecutor asked the forensic medicine institution whether “treatment is possible or not in a high-security, fully-equipped hospital”.

The institution then prepared the supplementary report as quickly as it could and sent it to the Elbistan prosecutor. The report said that on the grounds of her health, she should not be made to stay in hospital but should be immediately released.

The legal discussion ended there. Güler Zere should have been released on the spot. However the Elbistan prosecutor did not authorise her release, instead ordering her to be transferred to the forensic medical institution in Istanbul. Why was this transfer ordered? Why was Güler Zere brought to Istanbul when there was already a report from the forensic medicine institution?

The answer to this question became clear. Güler Zere was picked up by ambulance at 10 in the morning in Adana and brought to the forensic medicine institution in Istanbul (translator’s note: a very long journey by vehicle). She stayed there for about three hours. After an examination lasting about 15 minutes, she was brought back to Adana. Güler Zere was transported for 14 hours to get to Istanbul but only spent three hours there and was examined for 15 minutes. Then she made another 14-hour journey back to Adana. It is clear that even a healthy person would be ground down by this. How many people could stand such a journey? The health condition of Güler Zere is well known. She suffers from a rapidly spreading cancer, was operated on and half her cheek and palate area had to be removed.  However, the metastasis has spread further and is now attacking her pharynx. Another operation is needed, but though Güler Zere needed to rest and recuperate before this operation, she was tortured with a 14-hour journey. If it was only about a forensic medicine report, there was already a report in Adana. Why did she need to be brought to Istanbul at all? Moreover, there was a report prepared in the university hospital where her treatment was carried out. And this report too established that the health condition of Güler Zere was not compatible with imprisonment. Why was all this expert evidence not sufficient? If all this is not torture, then what is? And who will be responsible for this torture?


(TAYAD Families)



Consultation Report