May 19 2018

Turkish police intervene against protester with blank sign

Police intervened to remove and rip up a blank sign held by a solitary protester in Ankara’s central Sakarya Street on Saturday, left-wing news site Artı Gerçek said.

Cemal Yıldırım had been fired from his job by a state of emergency decree and had decided to sit and try to demonstrate in a way that would not upset authorities by holding a blank sign.

Police said that Yıldırım could sit, but that he could not hold up a sign regardless of what it did or did not say due to a ban on all protests in the province imposed by the Governor of Ankara.

110,778 Turks in state employment have been fired from their jobs by decree and 3,604 of them reinstated since the state of emergency began on July 20, 2016 in the wake of a failed coup attempt.

Many of those fired by decree have reported being unable to find work in the private sector as employers are wary of potential reprisals.