Former civil servant dismissed by gov't decree denied entry to Presidential Library

A former civil servant who was dismissed through a state of emergency decree (KHK), has been denied entry to the Turkish Presidential Library. The man said that he had been told by the police, “Our President does not want you [at the library]."

Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR

A Turkish civil servant who was dismissed as a result of a state of emergency decree (KHK) that was introduced after the failed 2016 coup attempt, has been denied entry to the library at the premises of the Presidential Complex. The police did not allow Rafet Irmak to enter the library by reportedly saying, “Our President does not want you.”

Irmak filed a criminal complaint about the incident.

Irmak was able to enter the same library on March 21. A few days later, he wanted to visit the library again, but this time was stopped by the police. For an hour, he was exposed to the interrogation of two police officers. Afterwards, another police officer from the anti-terror branch came and took Irmak's statement. Lastly, two other police officers cut him off, asking him more questions. 

Irmak requested an official letter for the incident, but his demand was turned down. It was only a few hours later that Irmak was allowed to enter the library.

Irmak said that he filed a criminal complaint so that other civil servants dismissed by KHKs like himself would not encounter similar practices.

In his statement to the prosecutor's office, Irmak said that the police officers had told him, "Our President does not want you." When Irmak asked the police officers if this "was personally said by the President himself," they said "No." 

“I have witnessed many times that meddlesome civil servants try to cover up their mistakes and act arbitrarily by using the names of both our President and the AKP. I request that an investigation be launched against five police officers who detained me on the pavement and went beyond the routine interrogation for 1.5 hours, who tried to portray arbitrary bullying as if it was the decision of our President and who used the President’s name despite the absence of a written decision or order,” he said. 

(English version by Alperen Şen)