Professor Yüksel Taşkın, one of 330 academics recently dismissed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), gave a lesson in the midst of falling snow in İstanbul, the t24 news website reported on Sunday.
“If you only focus on the injustices you face, that would be a big shame because the conscience has unity. When you only talk about unjust treatment against your people, that has nothing to do with conscience and the value of universality,” said Taşkın during the lesson in Abbasağa Park, situated in İstanbul’s Beşiktaş neighborhood, reminding of injustices committed against AKP people during the Feb. 28 coup era.
Underlining that 20 times more people have been purged by the AKP than the total number during the entire history of the republic, Taşkın said: “I am sad to have the shame of thought crime in this country.”
The “Democracy Lesson,” which was organized by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), was attended by CHP deputies Şafak Pavey, Selina Doğan, students and people at large.
According to the new decree issued on the evening of Feb. 7, 4,464 people working in government service, including teachers, academics, police officers, soldiers, members of the judiciary and journalists, were purged from their jobs.
Over 20,000 academics have been purged in Turkey as part of a post-coup crackdown.
Turkey faced a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the background of which still remains a mystery. The parliamentary Coup Commission completed its investigation without hearing the testimony of Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar or National Intelligence Organization Undersecretary (MİT) Hakan Fidan.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the botched coup a great gift of God as he immediately put the blame on the Gülen movement. While Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen denies masterminding the coup, a leaked European intelligence report in January revealed that there is no concrete evidence proving that Gülen ordered the coup.
Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10. As of Feb. 1, 89,775 people were being held without charge, with an additional 43,885 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement.