From Silivri: Şahin Alpay’s health ordeal

Şahin Alpay, the 73-year-old journalist imprisoned on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government”, has had a letter published by the P24 Platform for Independent Journalism detailing his tortuous trip to receive vital health treatment.

The journalist has been suffering from chronic health problems since his imprisonment, yet has had to wait months for a report to determine whether he is fit to be held behind bars, as reported in his last letter.

In this letter, Alpay relates the journeys he underwent to receive treatment for his various ailments.

With each trip to the hospital, the septuagenarian writer was kept handcuffed all day in the back of a police van.

One recent hospital visit on Jan. 2, to receive an angiography, proved to be such an ordeal that he was glad to return to his “normal life” in his cell in Silivri prison, according to Alpay’s letter.

Alpay was brought out of his cell early in the morning, and escorted to the hospital by six gendarmerie officers. Due to misunderstandings and the hectic schedule at the hospital, the journalist had to wait for hours to receive any treatment, even though his appointment had been made weeks ago.

The angiography was conducted through Alpay’s wrist, but due to the state of his veins, this created complications that further lengthened his visit.

Alpay returned to Silivri with a doctor’s report that may be used as evidence for his release from prison on health grounds. The journalist writes that his hopes for this, however, are slim.