Hacı Bişkin / DUVAR

A 1500-page report compiled by pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu and civil society activist Bayram Erzurumluoğlu based on the testimony of several thousand people who have been dismissed from their jobs via government degree highlights the mass economic misery and social isolation they have experienced in the ensuing months and years. 

Since the failed July 2016 coup attempt, around 150,000 people have been suspended or booted from their positions as professors, judges, prosecutors, police officers, teachers, engineers, and numerous other professions in the state apparatus. 

The report was compiled from interviews conducted with 3,104 people from all of Turkey’s 81 provinces as well as 201 people in 33 different countries who left Turkey after their dismissal.

“We see that this is a disaster that shaken and affected all of society. Those dismissed by decree are not just being removed from their jobs. We are talking about a large group of people that have been prevented from working in the private sector and denied social assistance funding,” said Gergerlioğlu at a press conference in Istanbul on July 13. 

Among the grim statements provided by the former state employees included: “My workplace was closed down. My license to work was canceled. I can’t work in my occupation. I’ve gone hungry! Our children’s livelihood has been robbed from them. I was forced to leave my family and go live abroad. I haven’t seen my children for three years. I haven’t seen my two-and-a-half-year-old child at all.”

The common complaint among everyone surveyed in the report is that they had become poor and unemployed after losing their jobs. 

The report also highlighted the severe effects that the mass firings have had on the families of the former government employees, including “economic difficulties, psychological difficulties, being in disrepute, societal exclusion, the collapse of one’s social circle, at least one family member becoming ill due to stress or other problems, and the separation of families.”

The vast majority of those surveyed believe that they were subjected to major rights violations. 86.5 percent said that what they had experienced was completely unfair and cruel, while just 6.5 percent said “I may have had some personal problems but I did not deserve to be punished this much.” 

Three percent of those polled said that they deserved everything that they had lived through, while four percent stated that they had not experienced any negative reactions from anyone in their circles following their dismissal. 

The negative effects of the mass firings sustained by the country include brain drain, the flight of financial capital, the weakening of social and cultural strength, and the loss of new production, modernization, expansion and strategic investments, according to the report.