The Ankara 19th Criminal Court handed down a sentence of six years and three months to Academic Nuriye Gulmen who went on hunger strike after losing her job in a purge following last year's failed coup. The court then ordered her release pending an appeal.
Gülmen was found "guilty of being a member of the DHKP-C". She was arrested in May along with Semih Özakça, a primary school teacher who had joined her in a hunger strike launched in March. The two have been protesting at the loss of their jobs in a crackdown by Ankara on alleged coup participants that has led to more than 140,000 public sector workers being sacked or suspended.
Özakça was released last month pending trial and was acquitted of similar charges on Friday. A third defendant, Acun Karadağ, was also acquitted on a charge of "participating in illegal rallies".
Authorities transferred Gülmen into intensive care in September due to her worsening health. She and Özakça have been living on the water, herbal tea, sugar and salt solutions and vitamin B1 for more than 260 days.
The two educators said their hunger strike has been carried out in support of all those state employees, including academics, civil servants, judges and soldiers, affected by the crackdown after the abortive coup in July 2016. (EVRENSEL DAILY)