Court releases hunger striker Özakça, keeps Gülmen in prison

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An Ankara court on Friday ruled for the release of Semih Özakça and continued the pretrial detention of Nuriye Gülmen, who went on a hunger strike in May after they were fired from their jobs by a government decree following a failed coup last year.

According to the T24 website, the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court decided to release Özakça and continue the pretrial detention of Gülmen, who refused to testify to the court from the hospital room where she was taken after her health deteriorated.

The two teachers are on the 226th day of their hunger strike.

The educators were on the 76th day of the 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 state employees who were dismissed from their jobs.

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

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