Ankara Governor’s Office bans all demonstrations, public events for a month

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A protester reacts as he and others are sprayed by police while demonstrating against the construction of a new U.S. Embassy Building in front of the current U.S. Embassy in Ankara on September 6, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

The Ankara Governor’s Office has announced that all demonstrations and public events are prohibited for a month in Ankara, the Evrensel daily reported on Monday.

The governor’s office said the ban would be in effect in all parks, gardens and public spaces and would include hunger strikes, sit-ins, commemorations, concerts and the like during the entire month of October.

According to the governor’s office, the measure is being taken due to intelligence regarding potential sit-ins and hunger strikes that could take place in public places in Ankara in support of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, two teachers who were arrested while on hunger strike after they were dismissed by a government decree issued under an ongoing state of emergency declared after a failed coup in Turkey last year.

Jailed educators Gülmen and Özakça have been on a hunger strike for 209 days.

The educators were on the 76th day of a hunger strike to protest their dismissal by 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 and dismissing or suspending around 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants.

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