Public workers protest job purges in Turkey

Selma Atabey had been working as a nurse in Turkey’s south-eastern province of Diyarbakır for 22 years when she was summarily dismissed from her job by government decree in late October. “I’ve had to sell my house and my car, I’ve lost my SGK [social security],” she says. “My son is getting ready for the high-school entrance exam and I’m afraid he won’t do well because of the stress we’re under.”

Atabey is just one of tens of thousands of public-sector employees removed from their posts in Turkey following a failed military coup in July, a series of on-going purges that the government says are necessary for the country’s security.

Many of the dismissed civil servants believe that they have instead been targeted for their union activity....

Since the failed 15 July coup attempt in Turkey, approximately 125,000 people employed by the government -- including teachers, healthcare workers, police officers, and lawyers -- have been dismissed from their posts. I interviewed some of these workers for Equal Times, a Brussels-based news site that also published the story in Spanish and and French.

Read the rest of my article, "'We Want Our Jobs Back': Turkish Workers Protest Post-Coup Purges," on Equal Times.