Veteran destitutes of social security coverage after being dismissed in post-coup purge

Veteran police officer M. Erhan Çelik.

Being a veteran is no relief from Turkish government’s post coup witch hunt as M. Erhan Çelik , a former police officer who lost his one ear and eye during a terrorist attack of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), says he cannot benefit from a state-funded social security coverage to undergo a surgery after dismissal.

Çelik is only one of 134,200 people who got sacked as part of the government’s post-coup purge of institutions. His post on a Facebook group, established by some of the purge victims, has revealed that the cruel post-coup dragnet knows no boundaries when it is dealing with the state’s perceived enemies.

“Hi guys, I got heavily injured after a bomb attack by PKK at a check point on July 27, 2016. I was dismissed on Jan 1, 2017. I lost my right eye and left ear due to injuries. There are still deep burn scars on many parts of my body. I got seven surgeries and I still need to undergo one more. However, my social security insurance ended and the police department refuse to pay my severance since I was dismissed. Do you think I can benefit from veterans’ rights? How can I get my treatment?” said Çelik.

In the currently ongoing post-coup purge, over 135,000 people have been purged since a July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. As tens of thousands of police officers have been dismissed from their duties, according to information given by Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, 10,732 police officers have also been jailed. Furthermore, thousands of military officers have been dismissed from Turkey’s security apparatus while 168 military generals and 7,463 military officers have been jailed as of April 2, 2017. (SCF with April 8, 2017



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