KHK victim reinstated to job, but dismissed shortly afterwards again

A Turkish court has first ruled for the reinstatement of veterinarian Erdoğan Ber, who was previously expelled from his government post via a statutory decree (KHK). However, Ber was dismissed again with the objection of the agriculture directorate where he worked. The directorate also demanded his salary paid during reinstatement back.

Duvar English

Veterinarian Erdoğan Ber, who was working in Istanbul Maltepe District Agriculture Directorate, was dismissed from his post on April 29, 2017 with a statutory decree (KHK).

Ankara 19th Administrative Court ruled for the reinstatement of Ber on March 20, 2023. However, Ber was dismissed from his post again on July 19, 2023, upon the objection of Maltepe District Agriculture Directorate. 

The directorate also demanded his salary paid in July back.

Ber told ANKA News Agency that he was shocked by the court’s approval of the objection. “I have been working at my job for two months, full rein. While everyone was on vacation during the holiday, we were working day and night with our friends there. The decision to stay the execution on top of all this shocked all my friends and lawyers.”

Ber said Turkish courts reject reinstatement lawsuits for those previously expelled from their government jobs via statutory decrees (KHK) for 90 percent of the time. 

“When they first suspended me, in 2016, they accused me of being a member of FETÖ (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization). We reached with our 42 friends to a minister and the minister requested a document revealing our connection and affiliation with FETÖ from the directorates (that suspended us). Since there was no document, all our friends were returned to their posts except me,” Ber said.

“They showed a criminal file as evidence from five years before I started my civil service. They did not reinstate me because of my ongoing criminal file in Istanbul Anatolian Courthouse. I was acquitted from that file in 2010,” he said. 

“They gave my speech in a TV program after my dismissal as a reason for my dismissal. The irrationality here is evident in all respects. How did they know that after I was expelled, I would appear on that program and give speeches criticizing the government and criticizing the ministry. In all respects, they came up with new justifications to block my reinstatement. We see that the institution (I work) has a systematic effort to prevent me from returning to work and justice,” Ber added.

More than 100,000 people have been removed from their jobs since the coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The government argues that it is cleansing the state apparatus of followers of the exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, which it calls the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) and blames for the failed coup.