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39-year-old teacher purged after 2016 coup succumbs to cancer

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Timur Karataş, a 39-year-old purge victim who was dismissed from his job as high school teacher after a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, died on Friday morning from colon cancer, according to Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, an opposition deputy.

Karataş, who used to teach German, lived in Kocaeli province and had been working as a porter, Gergerlioğlu said.

Turkey dismissed by government decree some 130,000 public servants in the aftermath of the coup attempt, accusing them of affiliation with terrorist organizations.

Karataş was tried by a court on terrorism charges and acquitted, the deputy said, adding that he had not been reinstated to his previous position.

Several observers and human rights defenders said that purged public servants have been struggling to find jobs in the private sector since their dismissals from the government jobs had stigmatized them.

“[The purge] took another life,” Gergerlioğlu tweeted, “I promise we’ll not let people forget this persecution.”

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