Disabled teacher purged from job jailed on terrorism charges due to Gülen links

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Muhammed Koşar and his family. PHOTO: Sevinç Özarslan

A 46-year-old disabled teacher who was removed from his job due to alleged links to the Gülen movement was sent to jail after an appeals court upheld a jail sentence handed down to him by a local court, according to an opposition deputy.

Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, who is also a renowned human rights activist, discussed the case of Muhammad Koşar in a tweet on Thursday.

Koşar is among the 150,000 public officials who have been removed from their posts by the Turkish government on terrorism charges in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

Koşar, who can walk only with the help of crutches due to a childhood disease, was given a prison sentence of 25 months on terrorism charges for depositing money in Bank Asya, a now-closed Islamic lender that was affiliated with the Gülen movement.

A regional appeals court in May upheld the sentence handed down to Koşar, and the former teacher was detained at his home in the southern Turkish province of Adana on Thursday morning and subsequently sent to Adana Kürkçüler Prison.

After losing his job, Koşar, who has three children, was selling börek, a Turkish pastry, with his wife to make a living.

Following the coup attempt, the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on followers of the movement under the pretext of an anti-coup fight as a result of which more than 150,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others were jailed and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

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