Interior Minister slams 111 figures who support academics on hunger strike

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Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has harshly criticized 111 prominent figures who in a newspaper ad on Tuesday called on the Turkish government to take action for two academics, Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who went on a hunger strike after they were fired from their jobs in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

The newspaper ad, which was published by the Hürriyet, Cumhuriyet, Birgün and Evrensel dailies, noted that the health of Gülmen and Özakça has reached a critical level and asked government to take action to prevent them from dying.

Writing from his Twitter account on Tuesday, Soylu accused the 111 figures of acting in support of the members of the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) terrorist organization.

“You don’t trust the knowledge, intelligence and findings of the police which you resort to when the slightest thing happens to you. But you have deep trust for terror organization members. Those who attempt to show our state as ineffective and guilty toward terror organizations, are you aware under what you put your signature?” wrote Soylu as he accused the individuals who ran the newspaper ad of encouraging terrorist organizations.

Gülmen and Özakça were arrested on terror charges in Ankara on May 23 while they were on a hunger strike.

Gülmen was fired from Konya Selçuk University, and Özakça was a teacher at a primary school in Turkey’s eastern province of Mardin before he was purged over ties to a “terrorist” organization.

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