Purged teacher acquitted 3 months after he dies at construction site in work accident

Kazım Kurnaz

A Turkish appeals court on Tuesday acquitted a purge victim teacher who died three months ago while working at a construction site, the tr724 news website reported.

Kazım Kurnaz, 35, was sacked by the Turkish government from his position at a public school for alleged ties to a terrorist group during a two-year-long state of emergency declared after a failed coup in 2016.

Many purged public servants have been struggling to find jobs in the private sector because of the label of “terrorism” they were branded with in the government decrees, according to an Amnesty International report titled “Purged beyond return? No remedy for Turkey’s dismissed public sector workers.”

Kurnaz had been working at a construction site when he died in a work-related accident on Feb. 1.

The court’s decision of acquittal was based on a “lack of concrete evidence” of his affiliation with any terrorist group.

Ömer Faruk Arsoy, a computer technician who used to work at a state hospital in the southern Turkish province of Mersin but was removed from his job by a government decree in September 2016 was reinstated to his position three months after his death in February.

In a similar development in February 2018, a Turkish teacher, Gökhan Açıkkollu, who was tortured to death while in police custody in the wake of the coup attempt over alleged membership in the Gülen movement, was found innocent one-and-a-half years later and “reinstated” to his job.

The official document for Açıkkollu’s reinstatement was delivered by the principal of his former school to Açıkkollu’s wife, who had also been dismissed from her job as a teacher by a government decree.

In another incident, Mustafa Nacaroğlu, an accountant who was also fired from his job by a government decree due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, was reinstated one year after he died in a traffic accident in January 2018. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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