Duvar English

Some 13 actors from the Istanbul Municipality City Theater were reinstated to their posts three years and seven months after they were laid off.

The actors were laid off during the state of emergency declared after the botched coup attempt of July 15, 2016, when thousands were dismissed from their public posts in an attempt to cleanse state institutions from supporters of U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fetullah Gülen, Ankara’s top suspect for the failed takeover.

After their dismissal, the actors filed lawsuits for their reinstatement and won, but were still denied their jobs back by the former Istanbul municipal administration.

“We opened a reinstatement lawsuit and the ruling came out very fast,” said the actors’ lawyer Erkut Güzel to daily Sözcü. “It was determined that their termination was unlawful.”

Under the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) municipal administration in Istanbul, Burçak Çöllü, Pervin Bağdat, Cem Baza, Irmak Örnek, Ümit Bülent Dinçer, Gürkan Başbuğ, Ceren Hacımuratoğlu, Çimen Tunç Baturalp, Yasemin Güvenç, Gökçe Selim, Elvan Boran, Aydın Yıldız and Özgürefe Özyeşilpınar were returned to their posts.

‘This is not a reinstatement’

Meanwhile, sacked actor Levent Üzümcü will take part in a play while awaiting a ruling on a reinstatement lawsuit against his dismissal based on a speech he gave in 2013, statements to the press and social media posts said.

“As believers in democracy arrived in the administration of Istanbul Municipality and City Theater, the artistic management asked me to take part in a play and I said yes,” Üzümcü said, adding that his part in the play was not a reinstatement.

Noting his employment status was that of a public servant and different from his reinstated coworkers, Üzümcü said that his fellow actors had been laid off on the orders of former Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“Of course I will eventually reclaim my lost rights and return home.”