Request by CHP deputies to visit jailed hunger strikers remains unanswered

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Turkish former primary school teacher Semih Ozakca (R) and Turkish academician Nuriye Gulmen sit in wheelchairs wearing facemasks on the 63rd day of their hunger strike during a demonstration to call for the authorities to give back jobs to public employees who have been dismissed from their positions by decree of law since the imposition of the state of emergency rule in Turkey, in Ankara, on May 10, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

A main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy told the Cumhuriyet daily that a request by fellow party members to visit two jailed hunger strikers has not been answered by the Justice Ministry.

According to Cumhuriyet’s story on Saturday, CHP deputy Onursal Adıgüzel said two deputies from his party filed a petition to visit two educators who have been on a hunger strike in prison on July 26 and 27. However, the deputies’ petition remains unanswered.

Adıgüzel said the hunger strikers, Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who were dismissed from their jobs in a decree issued under a state of emergency declared after a failed coup last year, are labeled terrorists and are not even allowed to talk to deputies in Parliament. He said it is unacceptable not to respond to a petition submitted by a deputy.

Gülmen and Özakça started a hunger strike 242 days ago to demand reinstatement to their jobs. However, they were put in jail on charges of terrorism instead.

Özakça was reportedly subjected to violence by prison guards.

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