Insurer refuses to pay for damage to car because claimant was purged from state job

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A Turkish insurance company has rejected a claim for damages sustained in an accident by one of its insureds on the grounds that the claimant is one of the thousands of public servants who were purged from their posts by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a failed coup in July 2016, the Independent’s Turkish edition reported.

More than 130,000 people have been removed from state jobs through government decrees, known as KHKs, since the coup attempt on July 15, 2016 on the grounds that they have links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding the coup. The movement strongly denies any involvement in the abortive putsch.

These public servants frequently complain of discrimination within the society although they say they have always acted within law and did nothing illegal.

The insurance company, Doğa Sigorta, refused to cover damages to an automobile belonging to former public servant H.B., who was arrested after being purged from his job. He was subsequently arrested. His wife had an accident while he was in jail, and the insurance company was supposed to pay damages in the amount of TL 20,000 to the family according to their policy, but Doğa Sigorta said it wouldn’t pay because H.B. was purged from his job and was on a black list due to an investigation being carried out into him on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

When the insurance company did not pay the damages, H.B.’s lawyer filed a lawsuit, and the court ruled that the insurance company must pay the TL 20,000 claim to H.B. with interest. 

The company took the decision to a local appeals court and made a statement from its social media account about the case, saying that a directive had been sent to insurance companies instructing them not to pay claims for individuals who were purged from state posts.

In addition to losing their jobs, purge victims have been denied passports, and according to reports have been struggling to find jobs as they were stigmatized by a broader smear campaign.

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