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Turkey’s social security body refuses to process retirement requests of Gülen-linked individuals

Turkey’s Social Security Institution (SGK) is turning down requests for retirement from individuals who have been removed from public jobs or have stood trial due to their alleged links to the Gülen movement, the pro-government Akşam daily reported on Tuesday.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

A woman identified only by the initials U.K. who was fired from a public job and is standing trial over alleged links to the Gülen movement, sent a petition to the Turkish Parliament’s Petition Commission, saying that the SGK has refused to process her retirement request although she had fulfilled the necessary criteria for retirement as of August 2017. The woman said she is not allowed to get the monthly pension she would normally receive if she was allowed to retire.

The commission asked the SGK about the woman’s situation and received the answer that not only the retirement request of U.K. but also that of thousands of people who were removed from public jobs due to alleged Gülen links was halted by the SGK. The SGK said it has also imposed a cautionary judgment on the retirement bonuses of these people.

According to the TurkeyPurge.com website, more than 170,000 people have been removed from state posts due to alleged Gülen links since the failed coup.

The European Commission said in a report on April 17 that after the introduction of a state of emergency on July 20, 2016, over 150,000 people were taken into custody and 78,000 were arrested due to alleged ties to the movement.

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