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Turkish academic Nuriye Gulmen ‘attacked by police’

TURKISH academic Nuriye Gulmen has a suspected broken leg after she was allegedly attacked by police who had detained her at a protest in Bodrum on Wednesday.

She travelled to the Turkish resort in Mugla province with Mehmet Dersulu and the pair were taken into custody when they tried to fly a kite to demand the reinstatement of teacher Engin Karatas who was dismissed by presidential decree in October 2016.

Lawyers from the People’s Law Bureau (HHB) said: “They wanted to fly a kite in a place called Degirmenler. Then, the police officers came and demanded to do a criminal record check. 

“Teacher Nuriye said: ‘You already know me’ and refused to show her identity card. They were detained after that.”

In a statement, the HHB claimed Ms Gulmen was attacked by the police while she was being taken to the hospital for health checks and said her left leg was possibly broken as a result.

They alleged that Mr Dersulu was also assaulted while he was being arrested, with police firing a gas canister at him from close range.

Mr Karatas has carried out a number of solo protests in his fight to be reinstated and has been detained a number of times for “disturbing peace and harmony.”

He was arrested by Turkey’s coastguard after an underwater protest and has also flown paper planes with the message “I want my job back” written on them in Bodrum’s central square.

Ms Gulmen came to prominence after she went on hunger strike alongside Semih Ozakca when they were sacked under a state of emergency decree. They ended their hunger strike in January after 324 days.

She was sentenced to six years and three months in jail for being a member of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party (DHKP-C) but was released pending appeal.

Teachers and academics are among more than 150,000 public-sector workers who have been sacked in Turkey in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s purges following the failed coup attempt of 2016.

The pair were released yesterday afternoon and Ms Gulmen remained defiant.

“We have been released from custody. We are on our way to the hospital. I cannot move my leg. While in this state they dragged me to the courthouse,” she said.

“They kicked Mehmet everywhere including his head. Even with torture they couldn’t break our will. And this is why we will definitely win.”

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