Semih Özakça and Nuriye Gülmen, two educators who went on a hunger strike after they were fired by government decrees in the aftermath of a July 15 coup attempt in Turkey and were detained on Monday, were arrested by a court on Tuesday.
The educators were detained after police searches of their homes in the early hours of Monday. They were referred to the Ankara Courthouse on Tuesday with the prosecutor demanding their arrest on the 76th of their hunger strike. Among the reasons for the detention, the prosecutor claimed that their hunger strike could trigger widespread protests as was in Gezi Park in 2013 and like Tekel protests in 2009.
Gülmen was fired from Konya Selçuk University for her alleged ties to the Gülen movement. 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.
The two protested for months in the same area of Ankara before they started their hunger strike. Several groups across the country gathered on streets and parks to support their hunger strike. Both have been detained several times due to their protests.
Thousands of academics and teachers have been removed from their jobs since the July 15 coup attempt as part of a post-coup purge launched by the government under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.