Bülent Uçar, former co-leader of the Malatya provincial branch of the Healthcare Workers Union (SES), was dismissed by an official government decree from his position at a state hospital in Malatya in 2016, while Turkey was under state of emergency. Uçar died of a heart attack four months later, yet puzzlingly was recently returned to his position by an official state of emergency commission, according to news reports this week.
“The state of emergency commission decided that Bülent Uçar had no legal investigations or proceedings against him, also determining that he had no relationship with any illegal organization or structure. With all his rights, he was returned to his position as a public employee. Well what about his right to live? Will those who stole Bülent’s right to live pay the price?” said SES co-leader Gönül Erden in a statement.
According to Erden, Uçar passed away following a difficult period where after being dismissed from his job,was subjected to government propaganda and was unable to find new work.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) former deputy Barış Yarkadaş tweeted about the commission’s decision last month, which was made on September 26, according to an official document he shared in his tweet. Yarkadaş described the affair by saying that justice delayed is justice denied.
“After you are removed from your job by decree, you become someone who is deprived of everything, an unknown secret terrorist, and none of your friends call you. There have been 60 people who have been removed from their jobs by decree who have committed suicide,” said pro-Kurdish, opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu in a statement.
Gergerlioğlu added that as a doctor who also was removed from his position in a public hospital by decree, he knew very well what Uçar had gone through, and said that the HDP would pursue this matter to the end.
During an extended period of state of emergency that went into effect after the coup attempt of July 2016, more than 100,000 state employees were dismissed from their jobs via official government decrees.
Though a significant segment of this figure consisted of those accused of being followers of the exiled US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, which the government refers to as the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) and considers to be behind the coup, thousands of other workers who were labor union members or known for their leftist or opposition views also were stripped from their posts.