Insurance company denies claim from dismissed public worker

A car insurance company in Turkey’s northwestern Bursa province has refused to pay for the claim by Kemal Doğan, a public worker who was dismissed via a presidential decree (KHK), news site Duvar reported on Friday.

Doğan’s parked car was hit by a truck that belonged to the Osmangazi district council in Bursa, and the insurance experts issued a report finding full fault with the truck.

Insurance company Aksigorta refused to pay out Doğan for damages, citing that he underwent an investigation during the state of emergency declared by the Turkish government after the attempted coup in 2016.

“We have been subjected to total social genocide,” Doğan told Duvar.

More than 125,000 public workers were dismissed in the aftermath of the coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Most of the dismissed were accused of links to the Gülen movement, which the Turkish government holds responsible for the coup, but many were also involved in opposition groups or left-wing organisations.

When Doğan sought help from a consumer court, the clerk questioned Doğan and asked why he “got involved in such things,” as Doğan recalled. 

“I gave up upon hearing that question,” Doğan said. “If we had died in a car crash, they wouldn’t recognise our social rights just because we were investigated.” 

Another insurance holder who was refused a pay-out for the same reason as Doğan had sued and the court had ordered the company to pay for the damages with interest, Duvar said. During the trial, company representatives testified that insurance providers were ordered not to pay out insurance holders who had their assets frozen via KHKs.

Parliamentarian Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) submitted a parliamentary inquiry addressed to Vice President Fuat Oktay, asking why workers dismissed by KHKs would not be entitled to their rights regarding insurance claims.

Gergerlioğlu also asked whether insurance companies were under investigation following similar complaints. Oktay had not responded to the inquiry at the time of publication.

Another public worker dismissed via KHK was recently denied service by Garanti BBVA, Turkey’s second largest private bank formerly owned by the Doğuş Group which has ties to the government. The bank reversed its decision following a public outcry.