Berk Görmez, a 14-year-old disabled son of a Turkish couple, who were dismissed by a government decree under the rule of emergency, lost his life on Thursday. Since he was put behind the bars as part of Turkish government’s massive post-coup witch hunt campaign targeting alleged members of the Gülen movement, Berk’s father Bekir Görmez has not been permitted to visit him for the last 17 months despite of his and his mother’s severe health problems.
Berk Görmez, who had to use glasses with numbers 9 and 10, has 80 percent hearing loss and has complaint of many severe health problems. It was reported that he experienced two operations on his intestinal knot last year. He has lost a kidney and his health situation did not improve since then. Cutting off communication with his surroundings before relapsing, Berk was also cut off from eating and drinking and his condition was getting worse. And eventually, Berk has lost his life on Thursday.
Former Mazlum-Der chairman and human rights defender Ömer Faruk Gergerlioglu has reacted the demise of Berk Görmez and said in his Twitter account that “And you got finally what you want!.. You did not released his father. Berk Görmez passed away. The child, who was lying in intensive care unit, could not see his father who has been kept in prison and he would not see him anymore. A new pain has added to the pains of Görmez Family. Which conscience could remain silent in front of this mother?”
Berk’s mother Fatma Görmez is a 41-year-old primary school teacher with 17 years of experience in education who was briefly detained and dismissed over her alleged ties to the Gülen movement. As her health problems has been getting worse every day she was detained once more time. In the following days she could no longer able to hear even with his hearing aid devices.
As one of the symbol of unlawfulness of the era of emergency rule in Turkey, every day has come with a new problem for Görmez Family. Fatma Görmez’s kidney disease has recurred and after a while it was understood that her heart was also collecting water. While her husband was in prison Fatma Görmez has also experienced a heavy heart surgery. Her weak body could not bear so much pain and her weight has fallen to 37 kilograms. Then she lived a second heart surgery.
Dismissed with a post-coup emergency decree, she is only one of more than 155,000 people who have lost their jobs over links to the movement. The movement denies any involvement in the failed coup attempt but this has not prevented the government from arresting 58,000 people including Fatma Görmez’s husband Bekir Görmez.
Bekir Görmez used to work for Konya-based Mevlana University, one of the 15 universities closed over alleged links to the Gülen movement in the aftermath of the coup bid in 2016. The 42-year-old former university worker has been under pre-trial arrest for 17 months. The reason for the jailing of Bekir Görmez was reported to be some tweets allegedly posted by him on the Twitter account of Mevlana University while he appeared in the court for the second time on October 16, 2017.
“I don’t know how long my heart, health and psychology will stand to this. I lost my ears. I can’t hear… I kindly ask the authorities to HEAR ME OUT, and let my husband stand trial without arrest at least, let him be my ears and to protect our family,” a Twitter account, named after Görmez Family, wrote for the first time on social media on May 23, 2017.
Among the people the social media account sought help from by Twitter mentions are many journalists, rights defenders and Konya Governor Yakup Canbolat. The governor blocked the family’s account, according to later posts.
Fatma Görmez has already not been able to do her job as a teacher for the past four years as she also suffers from renal insufficiency. The time when she was waiting for her retirement on disability, which was confirmed by doctor’s reports as 96 percent in Fatma Görmez’s case, coincided with her dismissal in the government’s post-coup purge. So, she lost retirement rights that were supposed to be provided in case the purge did not take place at all.
Her renal impairment has resulted in cardiac dropsy, for which she had two surgeries and she emaciated to weigh in at as low as 37 kilograms.
Meanwhile, by tweeting that she lost her ears, she was meaning it. In an ensuing series of tweets, Fatma elaborated: “Since my childhood, I had had a hearing problem. Even with a deaf aid, I can hear only by 50 percent. Berk, one of my two children, has also 80 percent hearing loss. He wears eyeglasses with +10 diopter lens on one eye and +9 on the other.”
“They did not let my hearing aid into the prison during the first visit to my husband. And we did nothing but cried together with my husband,” Fatma Görmez said adding that she started having difficulties in hearing even with the hearing device after a while. The other day, the doctor reportedly told her that she would never hear again.
Fatma’s 14-year-old son, Berk was also hospitalized as he was diagnosed with intestinal knot syndrome a short while ago. Having undergone two surgeries, Berk has been resting at the same hospital his mom was being held at. Meawhile, Fatma’s mother is looking after the family’s daughter, 11-year-old Azize Görmez.
Below are the documents that may verify medical status of both Fatma Görmez and his son Berk Görmez. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)