We call upon all the world’s people into action to be with us in the battle of bread and honour!
We were two public workers working as academic and primary school teacher before being purged under government decrees declared after coup attempt in Turkey. One night, without any explanation and administrative investigation, we were told that we do not have jobs anymore. Due to state of emergency, there is no legal mechanism left in the country to which we can appeal. We did not accept this unlawful, unjust dismissals and started sit-in strike in front of Human Rights Statue located on a central square in Ankara claiming “We Want Our Jobs Back”. Since then, the police have attacked our resistance spot 30 times detaining us violently. Each time we came back to the resistance spot and continued to our sit-in strike. After 4 months, we decided to put our bodies into hunger so that those turning a blind eye shall hear our voice. We have been on an indefinite hunger strike since 9th of March 2017. It has been 70 days since we live only with water, salt and sugar.
Our struggle not only became the voice of tens of thousands being purged under government decrees but also supported by many individuals and organizations standing against injustice. Intellectuals, artists, academics, doctors, lawyers and politicians from Turkey and around the world declared their solidarity with our struggle for bread and honour.
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 24 hours and 7 days. Certainly, you can also raise solidarity by sharing your support messages, pictures and videos, spreading our word in press, social media or contacting Turkish authorities about our case. Although we are on high spirits, our bodies are shrinking day by day. So please get into the action as soon as possible.
We salute you with resistance and struggle.
Academic Nuriye Gülmen
Primary School Teacher Semih Özakça