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Turkish academics continue hunger strike after job purge

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 01:21

A square in Ankara has become home to a daily protest against a government purge which has cost tens of thousands of Turks their jobs and livelihoods. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. After members of the military tried to overthrow Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan in 2016, the government launched a wide crackdown, firing tens of thousands of civil servants, judges, soldiers and academics that authorities viewed as a threat to national security. Among those purged from their jobs were thousands of educators, including literature professor Nuriye Gulmen and primary school teacher Semih Ozakca, who are on the 64th day of their hunger strike with a simple slogan: "I want my job back!" Speaking at a daily protest in Ankara on Thursday (May 11), Gulmen said "we are calling on everyone who is concerned and aware of the risks to solve the problem with those responsible". Esra Ozakca, wife of Semih Ozakca, said "a health worker suffered a heart attack and died after getting this reply from employment office in Malatya. People killed themselves." Gulmen, who lost 8 kilos and Ozakca, who lost 17 kilos, have refused treatment, saying they were aware of the consequences as part of their resistance. Both have been detained and released more than 30 times since they started their protest.

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Turkish academics continue hunger strike after job purge

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 01:21