Açlık grevi New York Times'ta

Açlık grevi New York Times'ta

Açlık grevi New York Times'ta

New York Times’ta Patrick Kingsley imzasıyla “Açlık Grevi bir ülkeyi kargaşaya sürüklüyor” başlığıyla yayınlanan haber, Ankara’da işlerinin geri verilmesi talebiyle açlık grevi yapmaya başlayan Nuriye Gülmen ve Semih Özakça’yı anlattı.

1990 yılında Türk yetkililerin Türkiye’nin başkentine bir insan hakları anıtı inşa ettiğini söyleyen Kingsley, 22 Mayıs’tan beri, kimsenin o heykele ulaşamadığını vurguladı. Bu hamlelerin Türkiye’de yaşanan geniş çaptaki insan hakkı ihlalleri açısından sembolik önem taşıdığını ancak hükümetin daha somut bir niyetinin olduğunu ekledi. Eylemcilerden biri olan Veli Saçılık’ın görüşlerine yer verilen yazıda Saçılık’ın “insanların mücadele ederek haklarını kazanamayacağını göstermeye çalışıyorlar. Biz kazanırsak diğerlerini de cesaretlendiririz” sözlerine yer verildi.

Olağanüstü Hal uygulaması başladığında “darbeye öncülük ettiği iddia edilen bir İslami grubun hedef alınacağı”nın iddia edildiğini söyleyen Kinsgsley, bugün Nuriye Gülmen, Semih Özakça ve Veli Saçılık gibi solcu isimlerin hedef alınmasının dikkat çektiğini, bu kamplaşmanın toplumu böldüğünü söyledi. Hükümet yanlısı çevrelerin bu uygulamayı normal gördüğü belirtilerek Süleyman Soylu’nun işten çıkarmaların gerekçesi olarak gösterdiği “Biz çocuklarımızı okula terörist olsunlar diye göndermiyoruz” sözlerine yer verdi.

İŞTE YAZININ ORİJİNALİ

ANKARA, Turkey — In 1990, Turkish authorities built a monument to human rights in the center of the Turkish capital. Since May 22, nobody has been able to reach it.

First, the police encircled it with a fence. For a time, they blocked the street it stands on. At one point they even shut a small square nearby that provided access to the street.

These moves carry obvious symbolism at a time of widespread rights abuses in Turkey, but the government also has a more practical goal in mind.

For over six months, a tiny group of former teachers and civil servants — a few of the more than 100,000 people who have been purged from their jobs during Turkey’s continuing crackdown on dissent — had assembled at the statue each day to ask for their jobs back.

 Throughout the protests, the core group of demonstrators consisted of just six people. But the state still wanted them gone.

Before the statue was closed off, most of the six had been briefly detained around 20 times. Two of them — Nuriye Gulmen, an academic, and Semih Ozakca, a schoolteacher — began a hunger strike on March 9. As their strike neared the 80-day mark last month, and as their health faded, the two were arrested and, this time, have not been released.

In the process, the government is “trying to show that people can’t win their rights by struggling,” said Veli Sacilik, a former sociologist who is one of the six protesters. “If we win, then it will encourage others.”

The state’s response to such a limited expression of dissent illustrates how little space is left in contemporary Turkey for free expression and assembly. Around 150 private news outlets have been shut down and others co-opted. More than 120 journalists have been jailed, along with more than a dozen opposition lawmakers. A state of emergency is to be extended indefinitely.

Introduced as a temporary measure after the failed coup last year, the state of emergency was originally intended as a means of expelling from state institutions members of the Islamic group accused of leading the putsch. But it has been expanded to include people of various political persuasions, including leftists like Mr. Sacilik, Ms. Gulmen and Mr. Ozakca.

In 2013 thousands of protesters gathered in central Istanbul, in demonstrations that became a byword for opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party, or A.K.P. Four years on, the two hunger strikers have become the nearest contemporary equivalent — a sign of the extent to which the right to free assembly has been eroded.

“It’s the protest that people know most about,” said Ali Seker, an opposition lawmaker who visited them in jail this week.

It is also the protest that, by extension, most divides current Turkish discourse. In pro-government circles, many believe the crackdown is a necessary means of stabilizing a country roiled by treasonous plots, two militant campaigns, an economic slowdown and a refugee crisis. In such circles, the hunger-striking educators are simply leftist militants.

“We don’t send our children to school to become terrorists,” said the interior minister, Suleyman Soylu, in a recent speech to justify why Mr. Ozakca and Ms. Gulmen were purged from their jobs.

But those from the other Turkey — the roughly half who voted in April against a referendum to expand Mr. Erdogan’s mandate — often view Mr. Ozakca and Ms. Gulmen and the four others in the small group in a more sympathetic light. They are a reminder, Mr. Seker said, of how “the A.K.P. is abusing the coup attempt as a pretext to purge everyone not connected to the A.K.P. and create a one-party state.”

2.06.2017 (Haber Merkezi)

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