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It was a snowy January morning in Istanbul last year when Ayse, a 32-year-old primary school teacher and mother of two, kissed the kids goodbye at school and headed home.
She didn’t make it to her front door before she was surrounded by seven policemen, accused of membership in a terrorist organization, handcuffed and taken away. Two months after being jailed, Ayse was joined behind bars by her youngest son, Ali, then just 4 years old.
Whatever the number of prisoners, “prison is no place for children in any civilized country,” said Dr. Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, a British foreign policy think tank, He called the policy of jailing mothers and children without charge “a travesty of justice” that will have “lasting effects on the lives of innocent children.”
Other critics of Turkey’s policy noted that the imprisoned women and children were victims of guilt by association.
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