How one woman is standing up to university purges

The Human Rights Monument is a well-known hallmark in a bustling pedestrian area in the heart of Ankara. Over the past month, a second fixture has appeared on the site: a woman with a banner. Despite 17 detentions, often by heavy-handed police, Nuriye Gulmen – one of hundreds of academics suspended from office after the 15 July attempted coup – keeps returning to the site to demand her job back, writes Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor.

Her solo protest since 9 November has made Gulmen a symbolic figure in Turkey’s state of emergency since the putsch, which has seen a ferocious crackdown on followers of Fethullah Gülen – the accused mastermind of the coup – and other government opponents. At a time when street demonstrations have become rare and are quickly clamped down by police, the young woman has stood out with unbending courage and will.

Al-Monitor went to the Human Rights Monument several times to speak to Gulmen, witnessing her detention each time. A few days ago, however, social media users reported an “extraordinary” development. “Nuriye Gulmen was not taken into custody today,” they said, prompting this reporter to rush to the monument again. Gulmen was there, asking passers-by to sign a petition calling on authorities to give her back her job at Selcuk University in Konya.
Full report on the Al-Monitor site