Every afternoon from January 23 to March 28, Ms. Celep arrived at the square wearing a white traffic waistcoat emblazoned with the words, “İşimi geri istiyorum” – Turkish for “I want my job back”. Through sunshine and the shivering Istanbul rain, she stood there as supporters — many of whom had also lost their jobs in Turkey’s great purges — arrived to cheer her on, encouraged by the young woman’s sheer guts and charisma.
In Turkey, a national trauma has turned into a never-ending nightmare for hundreds of thousands of citizens. Erdogan aimed to root out all Gulen sympathizers and turn them into what one local columnist called “socially dead people.” The government’s crackdown has extended well beyond the Gulenists. Leftist activists, Kurdish politicians, and dissenting academics have all been targeted.
It was a tweet that set it all off. An innocuous post that plunged Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu into a personal, administrative and political hell — and a private trauma that has publicly exposed a growing rift within Turkey’s Islamists.
Being a veteran is no relief from Turkey’s government witch hunt as M.E.Ç., a former police officer who lost his one ear and eye to clashes with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) says he cannot benefit from a state-backed social security coverage to undergo a surgery after dismissal.
The police officers came to the doctor’s door in Istanbul at 6 a.m. and one of them said, “You are accused of attempting to kill President Erdogan.” The doctor couldn’t help it; he laughed. “Really? I did that?” The police officers smiled, too. “Yes. Also for attempting to destroy Turkey and for being a member of a terrorist organization.”
Following the July 15, 2016, coup attempt, Erdogan promised to “cleanse” Turkey of a “virus” that has plagued its state institutions. That cleansing has been primarily directed at two organisations: the PKK and the Gulen movement. But the crackdown on both organisations began long before the July coup attempt.
There appears to be a systematic and deliberate campaign by the government of Turkey to dissuade doctors from writing up reports that prove abuse and torture cases detainees and prisoners went through or that verify serious health risks for jailed suspects.
The Turkish government has cut off funds granted to Rafia Nur, a 12-year-old child whose father has been arrested over alleged links to the Gülen movement. The lower half of Rafia’s body is paralyzed, impairing her ability to walk or stand.
All Mrs. Asli knows are the values she has embraced and she can’t see any problems with the humanist vision of Islam she endorses. “I recognise Gulen’s values in the morality of Islam, in the lives of Moses, Jesus and the Prophet Mohamed. Our values tell us never to hurt people, but to help them.
An indictment prepared by an İstanbul prosecutor seeks three consecutive life sentences for 30 individuals who include journalists and executives from the now-closed Zaman daily on coup charges. The daily, which was affiliated with the Gülen movement, was first seized by the Turkish government in March 2016 and the closed down in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Kadir Eyce, a 33-year-old police officer who was jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement, has died several weeks after he was released from prison due to health problems. According to photos and tweets posted by family members on Twitter, Eyce had been denied food and water in jail, thereby losing 45 kilograms in three months.
Ercan Karakoyun looks twice over his shoulder when he leaves his Berlin home to make sure nobody is following him. The 37-year-old, who is the public face of the Gulen movement in Germany, says he has received several death threats since the aborted overthrow.