Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, the two educators who have been on hunger strike for 67 days to protest their dismissals under post-coup emergency rules, are being harassed with food pictures sent by supporters of the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on social media.
“We dedicate the 66th day of our ‘hunger’ to the public labourers dismissed with government decrees. We call on everyone to join the ‘hunger’ on Saturday,” Gülmen tweeted under a hashtag #CumartesiAçlığaDoyuyoruz [#Wewillbefilledwithhunger], on May 11.
While her messages were quickly shared with hundreds of social media users, Murat Sarica [@drlsmzwriter] replied back with pictures of a plate of fried meat and a traditional desser, Kunefe. Sarica claims to be the editor-in-chief of a pro-government online news portal, dirilisimizhaber.com.
Another Twitter user [@CAN_UZUN35] also ridiculed their strike with a separate picture of a Kiwi dessert. @CAN_UZUN35 says in his/her bio that he/she uses the Twitter account in question, carrying Erdogan’s picture in the cover photo, as a weaponry for the “state’s security.” Meanhwhile, the desert he/she shared the picture of bares the word, Evet [Yes], typed with jelly on top, in an apparent reference to the April 16, 2017 referendum through which Erdoğan claimed sweeping presidential powers.
Gülmen was fired from Konya Selçuk University for her alleged ties to the Gülen movement. Meanwhile, Özakça was a teacher at a primary school in Turkey’s eastern province of Mardin before he was purged over ties to a terrorist organization.
They demonstrated a months-long protest at the same place before they started their hunger strike. Both have been detained several times due to their protests.
In a video recording filmed on the 61st day in their hunger strike, Gülmen seemed fainted and both she and Özakça looked like they lost some weight.
More than 130,000 people have lost their jobs over alleged or real ties to the movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.