Hunger strikers Gülmen and Özakça taken in custody

Academic Nuriye Gülmen and teacher Semih Özakça have been on a hunger strike for the last 75 days, and they were taken into custody last night in a midnight raid to their home.

Academic Nuriye Gülmen and teacher Semih Özakça are two of the tens of thousands of people who were expelled with a Statutory Decree, and they have been on a hunger strike in the heart of Turkish capital Ankara to get their jobs back for the last 75 days. The apartment they were staying in was raided at approximately 01.00 a.m. last night by the special operations police. Gülmen and Özakça are on parole and they sign in at a police station every day. The raid happened hours after they had signed in for the day.

Semih Özakça’s wife Esra Özakça and their lawyers Ayşegül Çağatay and Ebru Timtik were also taken into custody.

Protests against the raid and the detention are growing. HDP MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder and other MPs from HDP and CHP followed the events through the night and visited Gülmen and Özakça in the detention center. Meanwhile protesters started gathering in Yüksel Street at night, and more demonstrations have been called for today.

Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça’s lawyer, chair of ÇHD (Contemporary Lawyers Association) which was also shut down with a Statutory Decree, Selçuk Kozağaçlı informed the press and the public on the detentions.

Kozağaçlı announced that Gülmen and Özakça have decided to stop taking sugar and water as well, in case the detention is prolonged. Kozağaçlı also said that Gülmen and Özakça had been “roughed up” in custody, but were OK.