Sick Cancer Woman Arrested For Criticising Erdogan On FB

Story ByLee Bullen,Sub EditorJoseph Golder,AgencyAsia Wire Report

A terminally-ill cancer patient has been arrested upon her arrival at Istanbul Airport for a Facebook post that allegedly insulted Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


The terminally-ill woman’s Facebook activity was reportedly deemed as ‘terror propaganda’ and the 53-year-old was arrested upon her arrival at Istanbul Airport from Switzerland on 11th February.

Passport control officers noticed she had an arrest warrant outstanding and detained the suspect.

The woman, identified as Ayten Sarikaya Kesler, was taken to the Bakirkoy Courthouse where officials ordered her arrest for “making terror propaganda” and “insulting” President Erdogan in a Facebook post.

After hearing the court’s decision, the cancer patient reportedly fainted in the corridor and was taken to hospital.

Local media said the court was aware of her condition when they ordered her immediate arrest.


It was not revealed exactly what she had written, but according to Turkish Justice Ministry figures, nearly 20,000 people have been the subject of legal proceedings for allegedly insulting Erdogan during his presidency.

The number includes many members of the public who found themselves subject to prosecution because of social media postings.

Kesler’s lawyer Gulizar Tuncer said: “I told the prosecutor’s office that Ayten Sarikaya Kesler is a cancer patient and she has medication on her.

“The cancer has spread to all areas of her body, and they saw her health situation. She had been travelling since 3am and is exhausted and weak. Despite that, she has been arrested.

“Being so tired, she fainted in the corridor of the courthouse. An ambulance was dispatched to the courthouse. I was even the one who called the ambulance.

“Doctors checked her health situation; she is very sick. We do not know when she will be transferred to prison.”

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