Istanbul court orders municipality to reinstate dismissed KHK victim

A Turkish labor court has ruled for the reinstatement of an employee who was dismissed by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) after the Interior Ministry’s claims of the İBB personnel having “terror links.” The court ordered the İBB to pay compensation to Uğur Derman who was previously expelled from his government post via a statutory decree (KHK).

This collage photo shows Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu (L) and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu.

Ferhat Yaşar / Gazete Duvar

A labor court has found the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) at fault for dismissing an employee who was among several targeted by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

The Istanbul 13th Labor Court ruled for the reinstatement of Uğur Derman back to his position at the İBB and ordered the municipality to pay 72,000 liras in compensation to Derman.

Derman was one of the several personnel that were dismissed by the İBB following Minister Soylu’s claims that they were linked to “terrorist organizations.” Among the dismissed personnel were those previously expelled from their government jobs via statutory decrees (KHK) as well as members of the Academics for Peace -- a group dismissed from their university jobs after signing the petition called “We will not be a party to this crime” in 2016.

KHK victim Derman worked for the’s İBB subsidiary company İSPER for two years and was later dismissed due to the Interior Ministry’s targeting of the municipality on accusations of having hired “terror-linked employees.”

Derman took the case to the Istanbul 13th Labor Court, which ruled that his dismissal was a “non-proportional and immoderate” measure. The court said that the İBB had based its decision on a “negative security investigation and archive research” but had failed to provide any “concrete evidence with regards to the investigation’s content.”  

The İBB appealed the court’s decision, taking the case to a higher court. Derman’s lawyer Hüseyin Kösesoy said that despite the court’s decision and their attempts to find an addressee at the İSPER company, “all our demands (for reinstatement) have been left unanswered.”

The lawyer said that the İBB had in its appeal petition discussed the “existence of several investigation files against” Derman but that this does not reflect the truth. “There is only one criminal case of the client in (Turkey’s e-Justice platform) UYAP and it is explicitly seen that he has been acquitted of that,” the lawyer said.

(English version by Didem Atakan)