Dismissed police officer reinstated to job 3 years after death

A former police officer who was fired in a wide-ranging purge in the aftermath of a coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016 and died of cancer in 2019 has been reinstated to her job, the Bold Medya news website reported.

Meral Barut, 35, was one of the more than 130,000 civil servants who were expelled from public service under an emergency rule following the coup attempt on the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

Barut had suffered from pancreatic cancer for 10 months until her death on August 3, 2019. Her husband, Yakup Barut, was notified of her reinstatement today with a phone call from the Turkish national police.

Yakup Barut, also a former police officer, was arrested after his dismissal and was imprisoned for 18 months. After his wife’s death Yakup Barut had said his wife had to take care of their three children alone while battling cancer as he was in prison. “My wife had been a devoted police officer for 13 years, but her final days were marked by great suffering,” he said.

Human rights activist and deputy from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu expressed outrage on Twitter about justice that came too late. “Authorities accused a woman of terrorism, condemned her whole family to a life of misery, and now they are taking it back as if it were nothing,” he said.

Former public servants were not only fired from their jobs, they were also prohibited from working again in the public sector and getting a passport. The government also made it difficult for them to work formally in the private sector. Notes were put on the social security database about dismissed public servants to deter potential employers.

The State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission (OHAL Commission) was established as an appeals body under pressure from the Council of Europe in order to relieve the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) of a huge workload emanating from tens of thousands of Turkish applicants who couldn’t take their cases to Turkish courts.

According to critics, the commission’s role is simply to delay or prevent possible ECtHR decisions against Turkey. The commission is also accused of bias as it is led by former Justice Ministry deputy undersecretary Selahaddin Menteş, who had been openly supportive of President Erdoğan.

There have been many other former public servants who were reinstated to their jobs after they died.

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