Turkish police on Friday again detained Nuriye Gülmen, a prominent academic who went on a hunger strike after being fired from her job by a government decree under a state of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Gülmen announced her detention on her personal Twitter account on Friday, saying: “I have been taken off a bus in Belko by people who say I am being sought. Now, I am being taken to the police station.” Gülmen was held in detention for one night and she was released on Saturday.
A Turkish court ruled on December 1, 2017 for the release of Nuriye Gülmen, who was was on a hunger strike for 324 days after being dismissed from her job by a government decree. As her hunger strike went on she was detained and put behind bars for 269 days.
Semih Özakça, another teacher who went on a hunger strike with Gülmen, was arrested together with her in May 2017 on the 75th day of their hunger strike in Ankara, where they were protesting dismissal from their jobs. Both defendants were later accused by the Turkish government under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of membership in the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) terrorist group.
They continued their hunger strike in Sincan Prison before Gülmen was taken first to Sincan Prison Hospital and then to Ankara’s Numune Hospital. Özakça was released on probation on Oct. 20, 2017, while Gülmen continued to held in custody in Numune Hospital’s high security intensive care unit.
Their cause has earned support from many circles of society as many others have joined their protest over time. The Turkish government started a crackdown on the opposition in the wake of the botched coup attempt and has arrested more than 50,000 and dismissed or suspended some 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants.