Educators on Hunger Strike in Turkey
A Call for Solidarity with Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca
OUR CALL TO THE GOVERNMENT AND TO THE PUBLIC
Tens of thousands of public employees in Turkey have been dismissed through statutory decrees (KHK) issued under the state of emergency (OHAL) that has been declared using the 15 July 2016 coup attempt as a pretext. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has especially targeted hundreds of members of the Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions (KESK) who don’t have even a remote connection to the coup attempt. Unconfirmed reports say that lists targeting several hundreds of thousands of people are still being prepared.
Protests were organized against the OHAL and KHKs in many parts of the country, but the AKP resorted to force in order to repress these. The government also used violence and detention as tactics to dissuade Nuriye Gülmen, Semih Özakça, Acun Karadağ, Veli Saçılık, Esra Özakça ve Mehmet Dersulu, all of whom are public employees dismissed through KHKs, from protesting on Yüksel Street in Ankara. Despite this, the protest has lasted 180 days. In the meantime, Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça started a voluntary unlimited hunger strike that has been going on for more than sixty days now. But the government has turned a deaf ear on their most rightful demand of getting back their jobs.
We hereby call upon the AKP government to terminate the OHAL/KHK implementations carried out in flagrant violation of human rights, the Constitution and the laws, and to immediately provide the environment that is necessary for the enactment of the rule of law and democratic procedures. The OHAL/KHK implementations that drastically destroy lives will remain a stain in history. The rightful demands of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who are simply saying “We want our jobs back!”, must be met straight away and the threat on their lives must come to an end.
TO THE DEMOCRATIC PUBLIC SPHERE
All democratic protests against the OHAL and KHKs are legitimate; they express rightful demands. As part of the public, we fully support such actions and protests, and declare that we will henceforth actively seek to amplify them. We take on ourselves the responsibility of pursuing these rightful demands until they are met.
To Nuriye GÜLMEN and Semih ÖZAKÇA:
The protest that you have carried out with your friends on Yüksel Street for 180 days is rightful and legitimate. The hunger strike that you have been willfully carrying out has exposed to Turkish and global public opinion alike the brutality of the OHAL/KHKs. It is clear that you have WON, you have directly impacted public conscience, you have made your voice heard both in Turkey and at the international level, and you have touched people such that they are now willing to share in your hunger strike. The fact that you have WON is so clear that we are ready to celebrate your victory and to participate in your 180-day resistance even if you stopped your strike today!
We take pride in NURİYE GÜLMEN and SEMİH ÖZAKÇA and cherish this pride!
We, undersigned, acknowledge that we are committed to ending the repression instigated by the AKP government, and to seeing hunger strikers Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça as resisters who have regained their health. We hereby declare to the public that we will continue voicing the rightful demands expressed during this 180-day resistance, even after the hunger strike has ended.
If you wish to support the attached call, please send an email to the following address by tomorrow evening (GMT+2): nuriyegulmensemihozak
David Harvey has just released a recorded solidarity message, which is incredibly helpful:
Here’s more on this: