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Prominent deputy says commission unlawfully denied him reinstatement to his job as a medical doctor

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A petition submitted by Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a member of the Turkish Parliament and a prominent human rights activist, to a commission seeking reinstatement to his job as a medical doctor has been unlawfully rejected, according to the deputy.

Gergerlioğlu, who was removed from his job in January 2017 at a state hospital in northern Turkey where he worked as a pulmonologist, is one of the more than 130,000 civil servants in Turkey who were purged from their jobs through government decrees as part of a government-led purge launched in the aftermath of a coup attempt in July 2016.

Gergerlioğlu, who was elected to parliament in the 2018 general election from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), has been a vocal defender of human rights, bringing the injustices faced by people from all walks of life in Turkey into the public spotlight.

The state of emergency, or OHAL, commission to which Gergerlioğlu submitted his petition started accepting applications in July 2017 from victims of the post-coup purge.

Gergerlioğlu described the commission’s rejection of his application as “unlawful and unjust” at a news conference in parliament on Wednesday.

“The commission has no evidence against me [to justify the expulsion]. I am a Turk who does not know a single word of Kurdish, but I am accused of being pro-Kurd,” said Gergerlioğlu.

He said the commission’s members will have to give an accounting of their decision once the judicial shield currently protecting them is removed.

According to a report from the Anadolu news agency in July, the OHAL commission had received 126,300 applications from purge victims and had examined 108,200 of them. The commission made decisions in favor of the applicants in only 12,200 cases, while 96,000 cases were rejected.

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