Turkish gov’t allows jailed father to attend son’s funeral only with handcuffs

Jailed father of Berk Görmez, a 14-year-old boy who died of intestinel cancer last week, could attend his son’s funeral only with his hands cuffed during the ceremony.

“They did not take off Bekir Görmez’s handcuffs during the funeral for his son Berk Görmez who died before he was allowed to visit his father,” human rights advocate Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu tweeted on Tuesday.

Berk Görmez qualified for a 97 percent disability rating and had 80 percent hearing loss as well as several other severe health problems. It was reported that he experienced two operations on his intestinal knot last year. He has lost a kidney and his health situation did not improve since then.

His mother Fatma Görmez filed, to no avail, several requests for Bekir Görmez’s release so that he could boost their son’s morale during Berk’s time at hospital.

Both Fatma Görmez and Bekir Görmez were fired from their jobs with a post-coup emergency decree which was issued by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a coup attempt in June 2016. Father Görmez is still behind bars over his alleged links to the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the failed coup attempt. The group denies involvement in the failed takeover.

Bekir Görmez used to work for Konya-based Mevlana University, one of the 15 universities closed over links to the movement in the aftermath of the last year’s coup bid.

Meanwhile, Fatma Görmez, a dismissed primary school teacher, has not been able to do her job as a teacher for the past four years as she also suffers from kidney insufficiency. The time when she was waiting for her retirement on disability, which was confirmed by doctor’s reports as 96 percent in Fatma Görmez’s case, coincided with her dismissal in the government’s post-coup purge. So, she lost retirement rights that were supposed to be provided in case the purge did not take place at all.

Her renal impairment has resulted in cardiac dropsy, for which he had two surgeries and she emaciated to weigh in at as low as 37 kilograms. (turkeypurge.com)

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