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  • International Association of Health Policy - IAHP

    Sunday 11th September 2016

    The International Association of Health Policies (IAHP) stands in support of two of their board members of the European region and members of “Academics for Peace” and Education and Science Workers Union (Egitim-SEN), who were discharged from their positions at public higher institutions in Turkey!

    Turkey experienced a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, and the Turkish government holds the religious group led by the US resident cleric Fethullah Gülen responsible. In the aftermath of the failed coup the Government and university administrations have ordered for the dismissal of 42,881 state employees, especially in the Ministry of Education, but also at universities, where 2,346 employees were discharged. The latest mass purge imposed on the basis of a cabinet decree within the context of the state of emergency rule (September 1, 2016), included more than 41 Peace Petition signatories that were deemed “supporters of terrorism” and banned from public service.

    In January 2016, 2,218 scholars from Turkey signed a petition titled “We will not be a party to this crime,” also known as the Peace Petition, which demanded Turkey’s state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region. Since then the signatories (“Academics for Peace”) have been subject to heavy pressure and persecution and have faced criminal and disciplinary investigations, custody, imprisonment, or violent threats.

    The dismissal of the 41 Peace Petition signatories and Education and Science Workers Union (Egitim-SEN) members in the latest mass purge, among them the International Association of Health Policies (IAHPE) board members ONUR HAZAOGLU and ÖZLEM ÖZKAN, is yet another demonstration of the rapid escalation of violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Turkey, where the failed coup attempt has served as a pretext for the Erdogan government to cleanse all critical voices, both political opponents and human rights defenders.

    The IAHP strongly condemns the dismissal of two of its board members, ONUR HAZAOGLU and ÖZLEM ÖZKA, and urgently demand that our colleagues get reinstated to their positions and have their employee rights fully restored.

    Mauricio Torres-Tovar

    On behalf of IHAP

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