We are on Hunger Strike in Solidarity with the Dismissed Education Workers in Turkey, Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who are on hunger strike for 65 days now!
Research assistant Nuriye Gülmen and primary school teacher Semih Özakça have been on indefinite hunger strike for 65 days in Ankara, Turkey. They were dismissed from their public duty with a decree law issued under the state of emergency in July 2016. They are among tens of thousands of public workers purged through arbitrary, unlawful and unjust decree laws.
On November 9, 2016, Gülmen and Özakça began their sit-in protest in front of the Human Rights Statute on Yüksel Street located at the centre of Ankara with the demand of taking their jobs back. The police violently responded their democratic right to protest and detained them 27 times. Never giving up, they transformed the same street, Yüksel Street, into a space of collective resistance for 185 days.
On March 9, 2017, they turned their protest into hunger strike. The dismissal from public office brings dire consequences: loss of their social security, passport, right to be employed in public sector again, and unemployment benefits. Gülmen and Özakça’s hunger strike is to gain their jobs in the name of an honorable life!
As of today, they have been on hunger strike for 65 days. Their hunger strike has entered a critical stage for the health conditions of Gülmen and Özakça.
To increase solidarity and put pressure on the state authorities, some signatories of the Peace Declaration by the Academics for Peace and four members of the main opposition party (Republican People’s Party) have initiated solidarity hunger strikes in Ankara, İstanbul, Dersim and Germany.
Despite the national and international pressure, the government authorities are still silent to the demands of the hunger strikers, who are located just half-a-mile away from the Parliament and the offices of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice.
We, Çağlar Dölek and Sahilde Top, are on one-day hunger strike in solidarity with Gülmen and Özakça. With others, we demand that the Turkish government takes urgent actions to reinstate Nuriye and Semih’s jobs.
Çağlar Dölek is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, a visiting scholar at Carleton University, a signatory of the Peace Declaration by the Academics for Peace and a member of Education and Science Workers’ Union (EGITIM SEN).
Sahilde Top is a Turkish Canadian citizen, a mother and grandmother living in Ottawa.
Çağlar Dölek, 819 329 6582; email@example.com
Sahilde Top, 613 808 8906; firstname.lastname@example.org
TOMORROW MAY BE TOO LATE!
SUPPORT THE DEMADS OF THE HUNGER STRIKERS IN TURKEY
CONDEMN THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT FOR THE ARBITRARY DISMISSALS BY DECREE
PUT PRESSURE ON THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT TO TAKE ACTIONS IMMEDIATELY
* Canadian members of the Parliament can put pressure on the Turkish government and Turkish Embassy
* You can contact your representatives to ensure they undertake actions towards the Turkish government
* On social media, you can support the hashtag#NuriyeAndSemihAreNotAlone to spread the news, call for solidarity, ask the government of Turkey to listen to their demands
* You can take pictures, record short videos expressing solidarity with Nuriye and Semih and spread these audio-visuals on social media.
* You can sign the following petition to increase effectiveness of the campaign aiming at putting pressure on the government of Turkey:https://www.change.org/p/
Here is the more info about the hunger strike of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça: https://