Longing Wears You Down

Adem Üstün was arrested when her wife was pregnant to their first child. As a result of stress, her wife gave birth with much difficult earlier than normal. The father could not see his child and his wife for months. He was sent a t-shirt with his child’s face printed on the front. His father wore the t-shirt at all times, and as a result, the t-shirt worn down before he could even see the baby.

Tiny Hearts

EY has three children, she was dismissed from her profession and was arrested. She was transferred to a prison far away from her family. She knits her longing for her children into tiny hearts, whom she can see only once a month.

A Single Piece of Clothing

The teacher running away from the police for months had only one piece of clothing on. They didn’t have any money to spare for new clothes. She had only one skirt to wear, therefore she couldn’t leave the house when the clothing were being cleaned. The skirt thus became a part of her life.


GY was arrested along with his wife and their 4 ve 2 year old children. He was tortured while his children were in the adjacent ward. His body was electrified and he was beaten periodically. His clothing was torn as he was tortured with his clothes on.


A child who prices the sweets that his father brings to open visits so much that he cannot eat them. Rather, he stores them in a bag that he made.


A souvenir from the tea breaks during sorrowful evenings in prison.


The broken eye glasses of the arrested teacher who was tortured under custody is a reflection of the violence that he was subjected to.

Time is the Witness

The torture he was subjected to under custody resulted in his watch being broken and its dial malfunctioning. Under custody, his watch alongside his shoelaces were taken. There were no witnesses for the ensuing torture, but time was a sufficient witness for everything.

Fish Made of Cloth

H.Ş. was dismissed from her profession and then was arrested, and finally she was sentenced to 9 years and 10 months of prison. This is the fish she made for her beloved niece.

A Bird with Glad Tidings

The shoes belong to baby Cemal. He entered prison when he was only 11 months old. He tried to take his first baby steps on the concrete floor of the prison, and as a result, he was hurt badly every time he fell. One day he fell again and his lips split open. His mother prayed, supplicating, ‘My Lord, you know I have sins, but this little baby is sinless as you know.’ Next day, while they were reading Quran in the ward, a little bird entered Cemal’s shoe. The bird listened to the recitation motionless. Later when the recitation ended, the bird soiled the shoe and flew away. Those in the ward called the bird ‘the harbinger of Cemal’s being released.’ The mother had no hope. But the same evening, the news of his release reached them.

Prison Babies

Hatice, a young woman running away from police decided to create embroidery to give them as gifts to women in prison. A hand-made toy baby made by her was one of the rare toys that could be found in prison where even plastic toys are prohibited.

Longing for Quiet

Cigdem is being held in a ward for eight people with 24 people. She is a bookworm, and she satisfies her longing for a quiet time by using ear plugs.


Dilek Beleş is in prison with her mother, and she is one and half years old. Not even toys are allowed inside. The only colourful thing that she sees is the crayons they got from the prison canteen. She doesn’t even have a box to put the crayons in.


Ibrahim Can Tunc needed patience, as he was arrested a week after he was married, along with his wife. He made prayer beads out of the kernels of olives to seek patience by meditating and chanting the names of God.

Birthday Cake

His daughter’s birthday coincided with the open visit day of the arrested policeman. He made a birthday cake with the biscuits he got from the prison canteen for her beloved daughter Fatma Turkmen.

A Letter Full of Longing

Brief Info on the Identity of the Person: A geography teacher who was teaching at a state school, who was then dismissed from his profession, tortured under custody. He was dismissed from his profession on 22 July 2016 and was arrested on 24 july 2016. The torture started in the police car of KOM (   smuggling and organized crimes). He was subjected to terrible torture for five days at KOM. Then he was hospitalized, put in an intense care unit, and he had an operation on his intestines, all of this happening without the family being notified.. His wife and children were not allowed to see him during his 21 day hospital stay. He was then sent to prison. During this time, his 13 year old daughter wrote this letter with tears, full of longing for his father.

A Nursing Bottle in Prison

Brief Info on the Identity of the Person Affected: Their place of work was closed down with the KHK legislation. On the same day, he was arrested along with his 6 month old baby and his wife. The father remains arrested, while the mother and the little baby are all alone. The mother stayed in custody for five days with the infant son. As a result of her sorrow, her milk became insufficient. Because her baby could not satiate his hunger with the milk, she started to give baby food to him. They could only wash the bottle only a few times a day. As a result, they were forced to feed the baby once in a while without washing the bottle. The mother and the baby were freed after a while, but because of the unhygienic conditions and the cold, the baby contracted a serious infection.

The Girl with the Blue Lipstick

Yasemin A. was five years old when she crossed the Meric with her mother. There was the danger of her mother being arrested, as her husband was a journalist. In August 2016, they crossed into Greece, but they couldn’t do more. They had tried to go to Europe with a fake passport but they were caught. For two months they went through a lot in horrible conditions. Afterwards, a relative arranged a passport for them to another country, but in the passport sent, the name of the daughter was entered as a male name, Orhan Mustafa. But this was their only chance. Yasemin’s hair was cut and she wore boy’s clothes. They couldn’t buy boy’s shoes as they were out of money. Yasemin’s older daughter bought a blue lipstick and painted the shoes blue. When they arrived at the airport they only had 20 euros on them, enough only to return back home by taxi. With the help of God, they managed to cross into Europe on 25 October. The blue lipstick became a testament and a memory of their perilous journey.

Meeting in Paradise

Nursery teacher Hamide Şenyurt had miscarriage eight times. The ninth time, her baby manages to survive in her mother’s womb. However, when Hamide was dismissed from her profession with the KHK legislation, she lost her baby again with the sorrow of this troubled news. She sheds tears at her baby’s funeral, saying, ‘we will meet again in Paradise, my dear,’ and as an effect of the depression and sorrow, Hamide contracts cancer. As her treatment continued, she was arrested when she wasn’t able to walk and was sent away to Ankara kilometers away. Then she was freed two weeks later after it was thought that she would die and she eventually passes away in two weeks.  Only a pair of shoes was left behind from teacher Hamida which she had bought for her unborn baby.