Gendarmes escort former member of Council of State to son’s funeral

Haşim Güney, a former member of Turkey’s Council of State who was imprisoned in July 2016 after a failed coup and whose 26-year-old son, Emre Güney, recently died by suicide in İstanbul, was escorted to his son’s funeral on Friday by a group of gendarmes, Turkish Minute reported.

Emre Güney, a 26-year-old university student, died on Wednesday after he jumped from the observation deck of Galata Tower, an İstanbul tourist destination, reportedly due to depression caused by the imprisonment of his father in a post-coup purge. He began to receive psychological treatment following the arrest of his father.

Following the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the Turkish government declared a state of emergency and carried out a massive purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. More than 130,000 public servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 29,444 members of the armed forces, were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws known as KHKs, subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

The Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, is accused by the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of masterminding the failed coup and is labeled a “terrorist organization,” although the movement denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Güney was convicted of membership in the Gülen movement and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He has been in prison for the past six years.

Güney was taken to his son’s funeral in the custody of gendarmes. He was reportedly given two days’ leave for the funeral but remained with his family for only five hours and was then sent back to prison in the central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale.

Human rights defender and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu and the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) lawmaker Mustafa Yeneroğlu attended Emre’s funeral.

 

“Nobody should doubt that the KHKs are a crime against humanity, a genocide! How can people remain silent about this injustice?” Gergerlioğlu tweeted after the funeral.

The dismissed civil servants lost 70 percent of their average monthly income, a circumstance that reduced them to dire financial straits, according to a survey.

According to the victims’ family members taking part in the survey, the biggest problem they have been facing is economic hardship (97.9 percent) followed by psychological distress (88.6 percent), loss of social prestige and social exclusion (83.7 percent), disintegration of social circles (83.1 percent), unemployment/lack of employment (80.4 percent) and lack of social security (73.2 percent).

Prior to Güney’s suicide, a total of 84 people in Turkey had died by suicide as a result of the post-coup purge since 2016, according to data released by the Brussels-based human rights monitor Solidarity with OTHERS.

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