Teacher dismissed and detained by Turkish gov’t dies following a heart attack

Hüsamettin Özaydın, a father of four and an English language teacher who was removed from his job at a Siirt school, has reportedly passed away following a heart attack. According the Magduriyetler.com, a web portal that reports post-coup abuses, Özaydın was dismissed with the government’s post-coup emergency decree, No 672, in late October 2016.

The teacher with 20 days of experience also spent 14 days under police custody, Magduriyetler said. “He can’t stand the tough period he has been through, pressure from around and financial problems, and passed away following a heart attack,” the web portal said late Sunday.

The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has reported in one of its studies titled “Suspicious Deaths and Suicides In Turkey” that there has been an increase in the number of suspicious deaths in Turkey, most in Turkish jails and detention centers where a torture and ill-treatment is being practiced. In most cases, authorities concluded these as suicides without any effective, independent investigation.

The suspicious death has also taken place beyond the prison walls amid psychological pressure and threats of imminent imprisonment and torture, sometimes following the release of suspects or just before the detention. SCF has compiled 98 cases of suspicious death and suicides in Turkey in a list as of December 14, 2017 in a searchable database format.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Interior Minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665  people have been arrested. Previously, on December 13, 2017, The Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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