Hatayi Demir, an elementary school teacher until she was dismissed by a government decree issued under post-coup emergency rule last year, is now earning her keep by working as a beekeeper in a village in Tunceli province.
According to Duvar news portal, Demir was first suspended and ultimately dismissed by the government decree, like her some 40,000 colleagues.
With 18 years of experience in teaching, Demir was removed from her position on Oct 29, 2016 and then kicked out of the state-supported housing for teachers. “I had to hide it from my 80-year-old father, who is already beleaguered with several illnesses,” Demir says.
Demir moved to Boğalı village in Tunceli where she had to stay in a tent for two months.
“When I first started beekeeping, I got stung twice. Then I found out that I had an allergy against bees and that another sting would jeopardize my life. Then, I dealt with it thanks to some injections and pills.”
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement. The movement denies involvement in the abortive coup.
In line with a state of emergency declared in the aftermath of the foiled coup, Turkey sacked some 40,000 from the Education Ministry alone, most of whom teachers, over their alleged links to the Gulen movement or the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Overall, more than 155,000 lost their jobs, over 125,000 were detained and 56,000 were arrested since last year. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors, housewives and even football referees.