Purge victim working as bus driver stabbed to death on the job

Emrah Yıldız (34), a former sergeant in the Turkish military who was dismissed from the service by an emergency decree as part of a purge of state institutions following a July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, was stabbed to death in the bus he was driving in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep, Bold Medya reported.

Yıldız was attacked by 17-year-old B.K., who was not allowed on to the bus by Yıldız because it was full, witnesses said. Yıldız was taken to the hospital by paramedics, but he died the same day from massive bleeding.

Yıldız had been sentenced to five years in prison following the coup attempt and was released in 2021. Since then, he has had difficulty finding a job due to his dismissal and imprisonment. He recently started working as a driver for a private bus company and has a one-week-old baby.

B.K. was detained by the police and is still in custody.

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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