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Poverty, 'civil death' looms for victims of emergency rule

The severe economic and social penalties imposed on thousands of Turks after the July coup attempt mean that nearly 1 million people, including family members, have been condemned to “civil death.”
IMC TV employees react after their broadcaster's transmission cut by the authorities, based on a government decree, at IMC TV studios in Istanbul, Turkey, October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir - RTSQPFE

The bans and restrictions the Turkish government has imposed over the past four months under the state of emergency have resulted in tens of thousands of people shut out of social and economic life in what virtually amounts to “civil death.” Journalists and lawyers who lost their jobs after the July 15 coup attempt are now subject to legal and de facto work bans, which have produced a long list of victims.

Those affected by the emergency rule measures can be divided into two major categories: people who face judicial investigations and people not being judicially prosecuted but nonetheless directly or indirectly victimized by the measures. The latter category includes people dismissed from private enterprises closed for their alleged affiliation with Fethullah Gulen — the supposed mastermind behind the attempted putsch — and those who lost jobs in the public sector on the same grounds or for being active in oppositional trade unions.

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