Newly emerged video footage shows the moment Turkish police used excessive force against a group of protestors who were standing vigil in solidarity with two imprisoned educators, but ignored one of the demonstrators, an actress who was posing as a living statue.
In the 1.47-min. video, viewed hundreds of times on social media, a group of at least 20 civilians were assaulted by police officers and taken into custody for publicly protesting the purge of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, two imprisoned educators who have been on a hunger strike for over five months in order to protest their dismissals under post-coup emergency rule.
One of the protestors, however, managed to avoid the assault as police officers mistook her for a real statue.
Gülmen was fired from Konya Selçuk University for 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.
The two protested for months in the same area before they started their hunger strike. Both have been detained several times due to their protests.
In a video recording filmed on the 66th day of their hunger strike, Gülmen seems faint, and both she and Özakça look like they have lost weight.
More than 130,000 people have lost their jobs over alleged or real ties to the movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Educators Gülmen and Özakça have been on a hunger strike for 66 days in order to protest their dismissals under post-coup emergency rule.