Lawyers of jailed hunger striker teachers detained

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The lawyers, who were also defending the jailed hunger striker teachers Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, were detained just days before the teachers’ trial began.

The lawyers for jailed hunger strikers Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça — Ayşegül Çağatay, Ebru Timtik, Didem Ünsal and Naim Eminoğlu — were detained on Thursday as they went to apply to a state of emergency (OHAL) commission on behalf of their clients.

Turkish police detained the lawyers, who were calling for a press release to demand the return of the teachers to their jobs after applying to the OHAL commission on behalf of Gülmen and Özakça, who have been on a hunger strike for 169 days protesting their dismissal under state decrees.

The OHAL commission was established to investigate applications directly related to the loss of state jobs through the issuance of government decrees.

The educators were on the 76th day of a hunger strike to protest their dismissal by a statutory decree when they were arrested on terror charges on May 23 in Ankara.
Gülmen and Özakça said their strike aims to draw attention to the situation of more than 150,000 dismissed state employees.

The Turkish government started a crackdown on the opposition in the wake of a botched coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and arrested more than 50,000, dismissing or suspending around 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants.

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