In 2006, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Turkish citizen Osman Murat Ulke, who refused to perform compulsory military service as an act of civil disobedience, had been subjected to "civil death" due to the numerous prosecutions he faced after his original jail sentence. Ulke’s expulsion from his profession and the prospect of an interminable series of convictions, which forced him into hiding, constituted a “disproportionate” punishment, the court said.
Many legal experts now believe that thousands, if not tens of thousands, of Turks are potentially in a similar situation in the wake of the July 15 bloody coup attempt. According to officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), 70,000 public servants were dismissed in less than two months after the putsch, while some estimate the figure is more than 100,000. Among them, thousands remain in police custody or have been imprisoned pending trial, but the overwhelming majority of those remaining have not yet faced any questioning related to their dismissals.