Turkish police on Sunday detained 47 people including 22 women in Ankara protesting the arrest of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, two dismissed educators who have been on a hunger strike for 137 days, Cumhuriyet daily reported.
A video shows police breaking the arm of one protester while trying to take him into custody along with many others in Ankara’s Güvenpark. Police used water canon and tear gas to disperse the demonstration.
Özakça and Gülmen, who were fired by government decrees in the aftermath of a July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, were arrested by a court on the 76th of their hunger strike, on May 23.
Gülmen was dismissed from Konya Selçuk University for her alleged ties to the Gülen movement. Özakça was a teacher at a primary school in Turkey’s eastern province of Mardin before he was purged over ties to a “terrorist organization.”
Meanwhile, Bergül Varan, a member of lesftist band Grup Yorum, whose hair was ripped out from her scalp by Turkish police on June 7, was arrested on Saturday after she was detained on Friday. According to reports in Turkish media, Varan was detained again along with Akif Uzun, an actor in İdil Public Theatre.
Police had detained 14 individuals, including Varan, during a police raid on the Okmeydanı İdil Culture Center in İstanbul on May 30. Varan said after her release on June 7 that she and her friends were subjected to heavy acts of torture and her hair was ripped from her scalp by police officers while under detention.
Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15, as part of witch hunt targeting the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the coup attempt, a claim the movement strongly denies.
A total of 7,348 people, including 302 academics, have been dismissed from state institutions by a new government decree, known as a KHK, that went into effect on July 14. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. (SCF with turkishminute.com) July 23, 2017