The research center of Turkey’s Interior Ministry has published 54 pages long book about jailed and dismissed hunger-striking teachers Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, portraying and declaring them as ‘terrorists’ despite the fact that no court decision has been given on cases pending against them.
Showing the cases filed against the educators as the ‘mere evidence’ for their ‘terror ties’, the Ministry also defined the ‘the colors that the educators used in their protest materials’ and their participation in demonstrations organized by legally functioning organizations – such as labor unions and human rights institutions – as another ‘evidence’ to declare them as terrorists.
Gülmen and Özakça have been on a hunger-strike for over 130 days. They were arrested on the 75th day of their strike for ‘having the potential to trigger further public uprising’ since they have become a symbol of the struggle of hundreds of thousands in the country who have been dismissed from their jobs at public institutions in scope of the investigations of the current AKP government into a foiled coup alleged to have been carried out by a former long-time partner of AKP, the Fethullah Gülen movement.
Gülmen and Özakça had held a sit-in - to demand their jobs back - in front of the Human Rights Statue in Ankara’s downtown Kızılay for months before the authorities ordered for their arrest. Individuals and groups in solidarity with the two educators have also been targeted by police in Ankara numerous times.
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