“My husband is in jail. He was the only person who took care of me. What am I supposed to do now? The cancer I have is already stage 4. I was laid off from my job with the recent gov’t decree. I have to pay rent. I have to look after our two children. Don’t you people have a conscience? Aren’t you human beings? What did I do to you?”
These words belong to Nurdan Şahin, the wife of an imprisoned teacher, the mother of two girls, a cancer patient, and finally a public servant recently laid off by a gov’t decree. Şahin is among hundreds of thousands of people who find themselves facing tremendous difficulties after the government started a desperate crackdown on the Gülen movement in the aftermath of a July 15 coup attempt.
“My husband was detained and then arrested by a court [over alleged involvement in the coup attempt.] He is in the 3rd month of his arrest. I am a cancer patient at stage 4. Three positive aggressive tumor. The disease was at the third stage but during this period, it passed to 4. It spread to my liver. I am not allowed to move my right hand. My husband used to take care of me. He used to prepare my breakfast, supper. Now, I am trying to survive by the help of my friends, relatives. I have two kids. I go to Samsun for treatment alone. I take medicine at every 21 days. On Monday morning, I was told that I was fired from my job. I am destroyed. I was fired from Ayancık municipality where I worked for 20 years. I don’t know what my crime is. I really don’t know anything. I am still having treatment. I was told I have a right for free treatment for 10 days. But this treatment is going to last at least 1.5-2 years. Because, I was fired with a government decree, they do not give me a green card either. Each session of this treatment is TL 17,000. How am I supposed to find TL 17,000 at every 21 day. I pay TL 900 for rent. I have credit card debts. My husband was sacked and jailed. I am sacked. I only have faith in God. There is nothing else left.” (Turkey Purge)