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Turkey’s Interior Ministry blocks business permit for purge victim teacher

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A district municipality in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin refused to issue a business permit for former elementary school teacher Ramazan Tekin, who was previously removed from his job by a government decree, the Gazete Duvar news website reported on Tuesday.

The municipality’s decision was based on a notice from the Interior Ministry that deemed Tekin unfit to operate a business as he was dismissed from public service by a state of emergency decree back in 2016.

Tekin said he had already taken out a loan for the preparations and rented space where he planned to operate a café.

He also said he is also unable to work as a teacher as a result of the decree.

“If there are no jobs for us in this country, then they should let us go abroad,” he said, referring to a passport ban imposed on purged civil servants.

After a failed coup in July 2016, the Turkish government issued a series of state of emergency decrees by which it summarily dismissed nearly 130,000 public sector workers.

Although the state of emergency ended in July 2018, a recently approved law still allows the summary dismissal of public servants.

A number of international human rights advocacy groups have criticized the treatment of dismissed Turkish civil servants.

Amnesty International said the lack of an effective appeals process for the purge victims was “one of the worst human rights violations of the state of emergency period.”

The purge victims are also put under a travel ban, regardless of whether or not they are the subject of a criminal prosecution.

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