Purge victim forced to work as a deliveryman dies from injuries sustained in traffic accident

Semih Parıltı, a victim of purges that followed a July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey who was dismissed from his civil service job by an emergency decree, died after being injured in a traffic accident while working as a deliveryman in the southwestern Turkish province of Denizli, Bold Medya reported.

On October 5 a car collided with Parıltı’s motorcycle, causing him to sustain serious injuries. Parıltı, who had been in intensive care for 12 days, passed away on Sunday evening.

Parıltı had been sentenced to one year in prison for staying in a dormitory linked to the faith-based Gülen movement, according to the Denizli Law Platform.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the coup attempt in July 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

He was released in 2021 after serving one year in prison. Since then, he has had difficulty finding a job due to his time behind bars. A week before the accident he started working as a deliveryman.

Parıltı’s mother was his only family since he lost his father when he was five.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) Denizli deputy Gülizar Biçer Karaca tweeted after Parıltı’s death: “His name was Semih Parıltı. He got into a university despite being raised in poverty, and he had dreams for the future. He was thrown into prison merely because he stayed in a dormitory. When he got out, he started to work as a motorcycle deliveryman. Unfortunately, he died after the accident. Rest in peace. My condolences to all his relatives.”

Following the failed coup, 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 subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

Turkey’s former public servants were not only fired from their jobs after the attempted coup in 2016; 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.

According to a joint report by the Justice for Victims Platform and Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, an MP from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and a prominent defender of human rights, the two-year-long state of emergency declared after the failed putsch caused immense suffering among public servants who were dismissed from their jobs by the government as well as their families.

The biggest problem they have been facing is economic hardship (97.9 percent) followed by psychological problems (88.6 percent), loss of social prestige and social exclusion (83.7 percent), the disintegration of social circles (83.1 percent), unemployment/lack of employment (80.4 percent) and lack of social security (73.2 percent).

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