A man seeking to be reinstated to his job after being dismissed with a state of emergency decree was detained nearly 300 times in the past three years in the Turkish capital Ankara.
Cemal Yıldırım, who was dismissed from his post in the Ankara Revenue under the Treasury and Finance Ministry three years ago, has been carrying out protests in different parts of the city.
Yıldırım was also fined a total of 64 times since March 13, 2017.
“This is a very serious destruction process. I don’t think it’s properly understood in the public,” Yıldırım said, referring to the life after being sacked with a decree.
Turkey imposed a state of emergency that lasted for two years following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.
A total of 36 state of emergency decrees were issued in the aforementioned period that foresaw thousands getting dismissed from their jobs over their alleged links to the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have masterminded the attempted takeover.
Those dismissed have been struggling to make a living due to the near-impossibility of finding jobs in the public and private sector, while many complain about being left alone in this process.
“We’ve been experiencing a very serious isolation. Plenty of my relatives and friends are not talking to me anymore,” Yıldırım said.
Saying that he started to feel more pressure on himself after he began his protests in front of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) building, Yıldırım noted that he has been receiving threats.
“People thought that protests can’t be carried out in front of the AKP. The AKP was the one that sacked me. I knew very well that they would detain me if I carried out a protest in front of the AKP. By doing that, I presented the hypocrisy of the AKP,” he added.
Yıldırım also said that he applied to the State of Emergency Investigation Commission, adding that he doesn’t expect any justice as a result of his application.
“There’s no law in real terms. There is no ban on demonstrations in Ankara. But the police officers who detain us say that it’s the governor’s office’s decision. They said ‘Don’t object, file a complaint’ the other day. About what can I file a complaint? I can’t use my rights,” Yıldırım said.