Istar Gozaydin was in her bathrobe when the police came to her Istanbul apartment at 6.30am one day last December. They gave the professor time to change before they took her to prison to join tens of thousands of others jailed amid Turkey's crackdown following last year's failed coup.
Gozaydin had already lost her job as a law and politics professor after the putsch attempt when the Government shut down universities it claimed were linked to Fethullah Glen, an exiled cleric and once an ally of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's President. Officials accuse Glen and his supporters of masterminding the coup attempt, a charge the cleric denies.
In a speech yesterday marking the first anniversary of the coup attempt, Erdogan focused on the notion of shared sacrifice. "The treachery we face makes us stronger," he said, speaking at a bridge that was the scene of major clashes. In all 250 people died over the course of a terrifying night and day of violence.
Gozaydin says she does not belong to any ideology and used to support Erdogan's Justice and Development Party. None of that mattered during the three and a half months she was in jail over allegations of being part of a terrorist organisation. Gozaydin was eventually released, but she cannot find a job because institutions cannot hire someone from one of the closed universities. "Rule of law is for everybody ... everybody needs it one way or the other. If [it] is violated for somebody today, it may easily be violated for the others".
This is the post-putsch fate of many one year on - unemployed and stuck in judicial limbo in Turkey, with no way out since authorities have confiscated passports, including Gozaydin's. The purge has resulted in 50,000 people being jailed pending trial and 150,000 dismissed or suspended from their jobs. The crackdown has worsened strained relations with the EU.
Last week, the European Parliament said Turkey's EU accession talks should be suspended if it goes through with plans to strengthen Erdogan's powers following an April referendum. Erdogan says the new powers, as well as the crackdown, are necessary to fight threats to Turkey, including attacks by Kurdish militants and Isis.
Ali Ergin Demirhanin is the editor-in-chief of a socialist news site that, he said, had been shut down 49 times. But it was the questioning of the legitimacy of the results of the referendum that led to his detention. Erdogan narrowly won with 51.4 per cent voting in favour of constitutional changes, but questions were raised over the election board allowing unstamped ballot papers to be counted. Demirhanin was sentenced to 15 months in jail but was told it would be suspended. "It's something to make journalists afraid ... they have to kill the truth," Demirhanin said.
Last week, hundreds of thousands of people attended the largest protest since the coup attempt. It was the culmination of a march started in June by the Republican People's Party (CHP), the main opposition party. The pro-Kurdish HDP has 11 MPs in jail and joined the march while some conservatives voiced their support. It may be a sign that divisions within the opposition are narrowing, posing a greater threat to Erdogan's power. Baris Yarkadas, of CHP, said: "This is the killing of democracy ... they put Turkey in a dark tunnel, they want to stop us from seeing the light from that tunnel."
- Telegraph Group Ltd, Washington Post