Young Journalists Club | Latest news of Iran and world

News ID: 18401
Publish Date: 17:56 - 26 January 2018
TEHRAN, January 26 - A Turkish academic and a teacher said Friday they were ending their 10-month hunger strike against their dismissal under Ankara's crackdown following a failed coup bid in 2016.

Two teachers sacked in Turkey purge end hunger strikeTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca were sacked during the purges that have seen tens of thousands of public sector workers lose their jobs in the aftermath of the failed overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016.

The decision to end their protest came as they vowed to try and get their jobs back via the courts after an appeals commission "rejected our applications to return to our jobs", Gulmen said.

The commission was set up to hear challenges to dismissals that have taken place since the government implemented a state of emergency in response to the coup attempt.

"From today, we are ending our hunger strike on the 324th day but our resistance will continue... We will continue our fight for our jobs," Gulmen, 35, vowed in a video shared by supporters on social media in which the pair appeared frail.

"We are going to take our case to court," she said, sitting next to Ozakca, 28.

"Until we say it ends, this (fight) does not end."

There had been concerns over their health after they only consumed salty or sugary water, herbal tea and vitamin B1.

A doctors' group in Ankara said this month that Ozakca went from weighing 86 kilograms to 45.3 kilograms (189 to 100 pounds) while Gulmen dropped from 59 kilograms to 33.8 kilograms (130 to 75 pounds).

Gulmen and Ozakza first began a protest late in 2016 after their sacking before they started a hunger strike on March 9 last year.

They were then put on trial in 2017 on charges of belonging to the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

The DHKP-C has carried out sporadic attacks in recent years and is blacklisted as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

Ozakca was acquitted of the charge but Gulmen was found guilty last month, and sentenced to six years and three months in jail. She is free pending appeal.

They became a symbol of the widespread crackdown in Turkey, and were among 140,000 public sector workers sacked or suspended since July 2016.

Ankara blames the attempted putsch on the Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen who strongly denies the accusations.

Source: AFP

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