Amnesty laments treatment of Turkey purge victims

Amnesty said many were fired with no explanations given, therefore making it hard to challenge the dismissals.
Amnesty said many were fired with no explanations given, therefore making it hard to challenge the dismissals.


Date posted: November 1, 2018

Almost 130,000 public sector workers fired by decree during post-coup state of emergency due to alleged links to plotters.

ANKARA – Amnesty International on Thursday criticised what it called the “shameful” treatment of Turkish civil servants who were dismissed after the 2016 failed overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Almost 130,000 public sector workers were fired by decree during a post-coup state of emergency because of their alleged links to the plotters, terrorist organisations or other groups posing a threat to national security.

Those who believe they were wrongfully sacked can apply to a special commission to have their case reviewed and either be reinstated or compensated.

However, Amnesty said many were fired with no explanations given, therefore making it hard to challenge the dismissals.

A majority are still “awaiting justice” and face “an uncertain future”, Amnesty said, adding that so far only 6,000 had returned to their jobs.

The dismissals included more than 33,500 teachers and 31,500 police officers.

The commission has “failed to uphold international standards and is acting as a de facto rubber stamp for the initial flawed decisions,” Andrew Gardner, Amnesty’s Turkey strategy and research manager, said.

The “whole process is a shameful affront to justice”, he added in a statement.

The rights group said the lack of an effective appeals process was “one of the worst human rights violations of the state of emergency period”.

Amnesty also criticised the “innocuous” reasons given for dismissals. It said that the reasons given by the commission for upholding sackings often “lack merit and foregrounding in law”.

The commission has only issued rulings in a third of cases so far, of which less than seven percent were “positive decisions”.

Turkey accuses the US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen and his movement of ordering the attempted putsch, claims which he strongly denies.

His movement is described by Ankara as the “Fethullah Terrorist Organisation” (FETO).

Turkish authorities say the purges are necessary to cleanse the “virus” of the Gulen movement’s infiltration of state institutions.

Although the state of emergency ended in July, Amnesty says a recently approved law still allows “summary dismissals” of public sector workers.

Source: Middle East Online , October 25, 2018


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