Hunger striking educator Özakça’s mother detained by Turkish police in Ankara

The mother of Semih Özakça, a primary school teacher who went on a hunger strike after he was fired by government decree under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, was detained in capital Ankara.

Sultan Özakça was detained along with Beyza Gülmen, the sister of the hunger striking academic Nuriye Gülmen, in Ankara’s Güvenpark where the pair was protesting in support of the two educators.

“According to the information I obtained, my mother had a nervous breakdown and felt fainted. I hope they may get caught in the persecution they launched,” Semih Özakca tweeted on Tuesday.

Gülmen and Özakça were on the 300th day of the hunger strike they have gone on demanding that they be reinstated to their jobs. The two figures shared messages on their social media accounts calling for justice and determination.

Gülmen said that they dedicate the 300th day of their hunger strike to imprisoned teacher Nazife Onay, who was also discharged through a statutory decree. Gülmen has also announced the imprisoned Onay’s request for medical treatment over suspicion of cancer.

Also a social media campaign was conducted with the hashtags which were shared on their Twitter accounts such as #NuriyeGülmen, #SemihÖzakça and #NuriyeSemihİçin (For Nuriye and Semih) on Tuesday evening.

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 300 days ago. Both have been detained and arrested several times due to their protests.

Thousands of academics and teachers have been removed from their jobs since the July 15 coup attempt as part of a post-coup purge launched by the government under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. (SCF with

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