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State-run bank cancels client’s credit card due to dismissal from state job in post-coup purge

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Turkey’s state-run Halkbank has admitted that it canceled a credit card last year due to the fact that the owner of the card was dismissed from a state job in the aftermath of a 2016 failed coup, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Friday.

Nazmiye Aydın, a teacher, received a renewal of her credit card from the bank in 2019 but was unable to use it. When she enquired about it, she was told by a bank employee that the restriction on the card would not be lifted until she was acquitted by a court.

She did not receive an official explanation from the bank at the time.

Aydın later described experience to Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a prominent rights activist and member of parliament, who brought the subject up with parliament’s human rights committee.

After a brief correspondence, Halkbank in February replied with an official explanation indicating that Aydın’s card was canceled due to her dismissal.

Turkey dismissed more than 130,000 public servants following the coup, accusing them of ties to terrorist groups without any legal proceedings. Many of them subsequently faced investigation and even trial.

A number of private banks also canceled their clients’ credit cards for the same reason, but none of them provided an official explanation.

Garanti Bank in January back-pedalled and agreed to open a bank account to a purge victim following social media pressure.

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