Giving birth at Gülen-linked hospital cited as reason for termination from job

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Workers who were fired from their jobs at İzmir’s Ege University lost their jobs because they had a baby or received medical treatment at the now-closed, Gülen-linked Şifa Hospital in İzmir, according to a report in the Evrensel daily on Friday.

Some 420 subcontracted workers were dismissed from their jobs at Ege University in April while waiting to be hired permanently. The dismissal of the workers came after the release of a government decree stipulating permanent employment for subcontracted workers.

The workers were fired based on security investigations conducted by the İzmir Governor’s Office, the details of which were not shared with the public at the time.

Some of the workers took legal action for reinstatement to their jobs. As the judicial process began, it emerged that the workers were dismissed from their jobs for such reasons as giving birth at Şifa Hospital, working as a doorman at a Gülen-linked university preparation course facility or sending their children to a Gülen-linked school on a state scholarship.

Hundreds of schools, hospitals, media organizations as well as other businesses were closed down by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

The government accuses the movement of masterminding the failed coup, although the movement strongly denies any involvement.

Other reasons for termination cited in the dossiers of the workers who were fired include receiving treatment at the Gülen-linked hospital, a daughter or son serving as an intern at the Gülen-linked hospital, a son participating in football matches organized by Gülen-linked high schools, a child having a degree from a Gülen-linked university and having a bank account at the now-closed, Gülen-linked Bank Asya.

Hüseyin Sağdıç, who was fired from his job at Ege University because his son took part in football tournaments organized by the Gülen-linked Yamanlar College in İzmir, told Evrensel his son was not a student at the school but only took part in the tournament for a period of four months.

“We have been suffering for months. We have been undergoing financial and psychological problems. Our life has been turned upside down,” he said.

Immediately after the failed putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

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