Urgent Alert: Turkish Sisters Protesting for Right to Wear Religious Attire Thrown in Prison

Islamic Human Rights Commission

6th October 2003

Urgent Alert: Turkish Sisters Protesting for Right to Wear Religious Attire Thrown in Prison

1. Background
2. Suggested Action

1. Background

Sisters, Nurilhak and Nurcihan Saatcioglu, former prisoners of faith, have been detained once more as the Turkish appeal courts reimpose an extended sentence for their participation in the anti-hijabban rally in Malatya in 1999.

The pair were taken back into custody 4th October 1003 in Istanbul and are currently detained in Bakirkoy Woman and Child Prison.

They join their mother, Huda, in facing the same institutionalized discrimination against those women who wear the hijab. Huda has also served 3 years in prison for the same reason as her daughters. A third sister, Intisar, is also due for arrest for the same charges.

The women were originally charged with attempting to overthrow the Turkish government, but these were changed to “violating the gathering and demonstration act.”

IHRC has been campaigning for these women since 1999. Please see the following links for more details:

PRISONERS OF FAITH CAMPAIGN PACK: Huda Kaya and the Hijab Ban in Turkey

Report of IHRC Observer into the Trial of Huda Kaya and the Malatya 75

2. Suggested Action

Please send letters of support to the sisters at:


Please also contact the Prime Minister of Turkey, a former prisoner of faith himself:

Recep Tayyep Erdogan
Prime Minister of Turkey
Fax: 0090 312 419 58 96
Email: receptayyip.erdogan@basbakanlik.gov.tr

Demand that the Turkish government immediately and unconditionally release the sisters.

Mr Jack Straw MP
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street

Fax No: 020 7270 3539

Demand that the foreign office urge the Turkish government to release Nurilhak and Nurcihan Saatcioglu who are imprisoned for simply protesting.

Commissioner Chris Patten
European Commission
Directorate General for External Relations
200 Rue de la Loi
B-1049 Brussels

Demand that the European Commission ensures that Turkey release the sisters immediately and unconditionally.

Please contact IHRC for further information on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or info@ihrc.org.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

T (+44) 20 8904 4222
F (+44) 20 8904 5183
E info@ihrc.org
W www.ihrc.org