Kazım Kurnaz, a high-school geography teacher who was dismissed by a decree issued by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, died on Feb 1 in a construction accident in Duzce province, MedyaBold reported this week.

According to the report, Kurnaz (34) died after falling down the elevator shaft in the construction site he was working at.

The Turkish government has purged more than 150,000 state officials including judges, prosecutors, doctors, academics and teachers as part of the witch-hunt targeting the Gülen group since a failed coup on July 15, 2016.

Dismissed or suspended civil servants have been prohibited from securing job in other public institutions, while many teachers’ diplomas were also cancelled. Since the majority of the private sector is concerned about government pressure, they prefer not to employ fired public workers.

In order to survive, many purged civil servants and others have become unregistered market vendors or laborers on farms, for construction companies and the like

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement. The movement denies any involvement.


Two months after his death, Kazim Kurnaz was acquitted of post-coup terrorism charges that led to his dismissal from the public service in the first place.