Ankara police assault group protesting in solidarity with hunger strike academics, detain over 20

Newly emerged video footage shows the moment Turkish police, who detained at least 20 protestors on Friday night, used excessive force against a group of protestors who were standing vigil in solidarity with Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, two educators who have been on a hunger strike for 66 days in order to protest their dismissals under post-coup emergency rule.

In the 67-second video, viewed hundreds of times on Twitter, a group of at least 15 civilians were assaulted by a group of police officers and taken into custody for publicly protesting the dismissal of the academics.

Gülmen was fired from Konya Selçuk University for her alleged ties to the Gülen movement. Meanwhile, Özakça was a teacher at a primary school in Turkey’s eastern province of Mardin before he was purged over ties to a terrorist organization.

The two protested for months in the same area before they started their hunger strike. Both have been detained several times due to their protests.

In a video recording filmed on the 66th day of their hunger strike, Gülmen seems faint and both she and Özakça look like they have lost weight.

More than 145,000 people have lost their jobs over alleged or real ties to the movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a July 15, 2016 coup attempt. ( May 13, 2017

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