Request for release of Turkey’s hunger-striking educators denied

Two of the hundreds of thousands people in Turkey who have lost their jobs in state institutions with the executive emergency orders in the country, teachers Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, had started a demonstration to demand their jobs back months ago. Since they were detained on the 75th day of their hunger-strike, their health conditions have gotten worse.

As their lawyers demanded for their release, the authorities in Turkey denied that request stating ‘the current health condition of the detained educators is suitable for prison conditions.’

Talking to Ayça Söylemez from Bianet, lawyer Engin Gökoğlu mentioned that the moods of the two are fine but their health is reaching a critical point by each day as 127 days are left behind in hunger.

Gökoğlu also said the guardians in jail have lately been waking up Nuriye Gülmen in the middle of the night, telling her, ‘we have come to check on you to see if you’ve died or not.’

As for Semih Özakça, the guardians monitor his cell at around 11 o’clock in the evening to check on him, Söylemez reported.
Both Gülmen and Özakça have lost strength to an extent that they are no longer able to walk.

“Their demand to be reinstated to their jobs is not something so difficult to meet (by the authorities). This resistance that has been heard by the whole world must be heard by the government in Turkey, too”, lawyer Gökoğlu said.