Dear friends and allies,

We, academician Nuriye Gülmen and teacher Semih Özakça, are two of the revolutionist democratic public workers that have been dismissed from employment with the statutory decrees declared after the announcement of state of emergency in Turkey. Both of us are the members of Education and Science Workers’ Union. We did not accept this unlawful, unjust dismissals, and thus started a sit-down strike on Yuksel Street, Ankara in front of the Human Rights Statue on November 9th, 2016. Many of our friends, who were also dismissed with similar statutory decrees came and joined us in time. In fact, sociologist Veli Saçılık and teachers Acun Karadağ, Esra Özkan Özakça and Mehmet Dersulu were engaged in our resistance.

During our struggle, we have been attacked, tortured and detained by the police for 27 times. Each time, however, we managed to return our resistance spot and continued our sit-down strike. Throughout our resistance, our demand, which is simply to get back our job, has remained unanswered by the government, and yet we have been strong-willed and dedicated to maintain our resistance until we get it back.

While our sit-down strike was continuing, we also started an indefinite, irreversible hunger strike on March 9th, 2017. Needless to say, we demand to be seen and heard by laborers, unions and people all around the world. These days, our health is deteriorating, and we are waiting for all the support we can get. Our demand is simple: we want our job back.

We maintain our hunger strike at the same spot, the Human Rights Statue on Yüksel Street, Ankara. If you come to visit us, we will be waiting for you there for 24 hours 7 days. Certainly, you can also raise solidarity by spreading our word in social media, contacting Turkish embassies near you or sharing your support messages, pictures and videos with us.

We salute you with resistance and struggle.

Academician Nuriye Gülmen

Teacher Semih Özakça

Twitter: @NuriyeGulmen, @SemihOzakca