Investigation launched into Turkish protester demanding to be returned to his job
ANKARAAn investigation has been launched into a Turkish sociologist who has been carrying out a protest demanding to be returned to his job in the capital Ankara.
Veli Saçılık, a sociologist who was dismissed from his post with a state of emergency decree, has been carrying out a protest to demand that he be returned to his job and that two jailed educators on hunger strike be released.
Educators Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who were among those dismissed with decrees, have been on a hunger strike for over 110 days and were arrested on terror charges.
Saçılık, who lost his arm in a military operation known as “Operation Return to Life” conducted in December 2000 in 20 prisons across Turkey to end hunger strikes staged by inmates in protest of newly built prisons with solitary confinement cells, said the investigation was launched over “being a member of a terrorist organization and making propaganda of it.”
Saçılık said he examined the file opened against him, adding that there was no specification on the organization which he was alleged to have been a member of.
“They see the investigation as a method to remove the protest’s symbols. After Nuriye and Semih’s arrest, we came to view and this investigation is a part of that. There is a probe not because of the existence of a crime, but of a voice,” Saçılık told news website Duvar on June 26, adding that he is expecting to be arrested after Eid al-Fitr.
“They are giving a message to the public by beating, torturing and arresting us. We are trying to inflict courage not fear into people,” he said.
Turkey declared a state of emergency after the July 2016 coup attempt and thousands have been suspended or dismissed with decrees since then.