Disabled woman loses health care benefits due to son-in-law’s Gülen links

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Photo by Uriel Soberanes (Unsplash)

The health care benefits of a disabled woman were cut off in 2017 because her son-in-law was a purge victim dismissed from public service by a government decree, according to a tweet by Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a deputy from Turkey’s Kurdish left-wing Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Ahval news website reported.

According to an official document tweeted by Gergerlioğlu, Aslı Kır was found to be ineligible for health care benefits by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security after her son-in-law’s status as a dismissed civil servant was noticed during a background check conducted by the ministry.

More than 130,000 public servants were summarily dismissed by government decrees during a two-year-long state of emergency declared following a coup attempt in July 2016. The government crackdown mainly targeted the faith-based Gülen movement, which the Turkish government accused of orchestrating the coup attempt, but was also expanded to encompass other opposition groups.

“This is how unlawfulness, cruelty and injustice were perpetrated during the state of emergency,” Gergerlioğlu tweeted. “We will not forget them; we will hold them to account before justice!”

According to a report published by human rights group Amnesty International in October, the purge victims not only lost their jobs but were also unable to pursue their professions as well as losing housing and health care benefits, leaving them and their families without a livelihood.

The purge affected teachers, academics, doctors, police officers, media workers employed by the state broadcaster and members of the armed forces as well as people working at all levels of local and central government.

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