Purged teacher dies in construction accident

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Bünyamin Aydoğan

Bünyamin Aydoğan, a teacher who was dismissed by a government decree issued under a state of emergency as part of a witch-hunt targeting Gülen movement sympathizers, died on Friday evening in a pipeline construction accident in Kahramanmaraş province, CNNTürk reported.

According to the report, Aydoğan (39) died when a large pipe carried by an overhead crane fell on him on the 20th day of his new job with a construction company in the Afşin district of Kahramanmaraş.

The Turkish government has purged more than 145,000 state officials including judges, prosecutors, doctors, academics and teachers as part of the witch-hunt targeting the Gülen movement since a failed coup on July 15.

Dismissed civil servants have been prohibited from securing another job in public institutions, while many teachers’ diplomas were also cancelled. Since a majority of the private sector is concerned about government pressure, they prefer not to employ fired public workers.

In order to survive, many dismissed civil servants and others have become unregistered market vendors or laborers on farms, for construction companies and the like.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

The movement denies any involvement.

According to a statement from Interior Minister Soylu on April 2, a total of 113,260 people have been detained as part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the July 15 coup attempt, while 47,155 were put into pre-trial detention. On May 6, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said 149,833 people have been investigated and 48,636 have been jailed as part of an investigation targeting the Gülen movement since July 15 of last year.

Contrary to accusations made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish government, the head of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Bruno Kahl, on March 18 said Turkey could not convince them that US-based Turkish-Islamic scholar Gülen was behind the failed coup attempt on July 15.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament concluded on March 25 that Gülen and the movement he inspired as a whole were not behind the failed coup attempt.

On March 19 Devin Nunes, chairman of United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also said he has not seen any evidence showing Gülen’s involvement in the failed coup attempt in Turkey.

In January, a report prepared by the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (IntCen) revealed that the coup attempt was staged by a range of Erdoğan’s opponents due to fears of an impending purge.

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