Turkey arrests lawyers of hunger-striking teachers

‘Turkey issued detention warrants for the lawyers of two hunger-striking teachers on Tuesday, days before they are due to appear in court, lawyers representing the academics said.

Nuriye Gulmen, a literature professor, and Semih Ozakca, a primary school teacher, have been on hunger strike for more than six months after they lost their jobs in a crackdown following a failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan.

Doctors say they have been surviving on liquids and supplements, but have described their condition as dangerously weak for several months.

Authorities detained them in May saying they had links to the militant leftist DHKP-C group, deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey.

The warrants were issued for 18 lawyers, all members of two law offices defending the teachers.

“The detention of our colleagues today is an attempt in vain to leave Gulmen and Ozakca defenseless,” a lawyer representing the pair told Reuters, adding that more than 2,000 lawyers had applied to defend them due to the case’s symbolic importance.’

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