New Amnesty report slams mass dismissals in Turkey

Workers in Bursa protesting the dismissals demanding their jobs back.

An Amnesty International report was released on Monday focusing on the dismissal of public servants, including police officers, teachers, soldiers, doctors, judges, prosecutors and academics, by executive decree issued under the powers of the 10-months long state of emergency in Turkey.

The mass dismissals have according to the report been “carried out arbitrarily on the basis of vague and generalized grounds of ‘connections to terrorist organizations’”.

The summary dismissals were accompanied by expulsions from all forms of public service resulting in the complete deprival of any sort of income. While completely depending on families and friends, the dismissed public servants cannot seek work opportunities in other countries as the authorities have cancelled their passports.

Amnesty International’s recommendations for the Turkish government included an end to the summary and arbitrary dismissals and a call for the installment of an immediate and working appeal mechanism for the dismissed.

Currently, no courts in Turkey have accepted jurisdiction to review the dismissals.

Public workers have protested the dismissals widely and some have even gone on hunger strike to be reinstated to their jobs.

Amnesty called on Turkey’s state allies, the European Union and the Council of Europe to “call on Turkey to end unfair dismissals and grant effective appeals, recognising that existing appeal mechanisms do not represent an effective domestic remedy.”

The state of emergency, first declared by the government on 20 July 2016 is currently due to expire on 19 July 2017. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that the country’s ongoing state of emergency will continue until Turkey achieves “peace and welfare”.