HDP group chair writes letter to Europe regarding hunger strikers

HDP Group Deputy Chair Filiz Kerestecioglu at the Turkish parliament (File Photo)

Turkey’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Group Deputy Chair Filiz Kerestecioglu sent a letter to Nils Muiznieks, Commissioner for Human Rights and Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe regarding two educators, Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca, who are on hunger strike in Turkey.

In the letter, Kerestecioglu asks Muiznieks and Jagland to communicate with the Turkish authorities in order to open up a dialogue between the hunger strikers and government authorities.

The HDP group deputy chair expressed her worries regarding the health situation of academic Gulmen and teacher Ozakca, who lost their jobs in the post-coup purges of thousands of public servants and have been on hunger strike for 60 days in order to be reinstated.

“There is not any effective domestic legal mechanism left in the country to which these dismissed officials can appeal,” Kerestecioglu’s letter stated.

Gulmen and Ozakca began protesting their dismissals by setting up a tent in the centre of Turkish capital Ankara 180 days ago. Gulmen has been detained 26 times by police to force her to end the protest while Ozakca has been taken into custody 15 times.