26 year old Turkish unemployed teacher (in Turkey, there are more than 300.000 unemloyed teachers) Mr. ?afak Bay has been caught to bone cancer for five years and the cure can no longer be found in Turkey. Safak and his friends settled a platform to voice the problems of unemployed teachers in Turkey. The name of their organization is Platform for Unemployed Teachers. He has been the leading speaker for the organization. Unemployed teachers have many problems in Turkey since the government do not appoint enough teachers because of the well known “financial cuts”. Because of this, many unemployed teachers have been working as waitress, private security guard or become policeman to make a living. However, they are teachers and the only thing that Safak and his friends desire is to do their job as teachers. Up to now, the total number of unemployed teachers who have committed suicide and lost their lives is 18. And Safak is about to die because of the visa problem.
Even though 30 treatments of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, 5 serious surgeries and stem cell transplantation has been done, his body is not responding to these treatments. Today the illness has spread to his hip rib, lungs and his genitalia. The cure to his illness can only be at a cancer treatment center in the United States of America. In order to obtain the required report for his treatment he went to a indefinite hunger strike on the 19th of July at the Abdi ?pekçi Park. On the 3rd day of his strike the president Mr. Adbullah Gül sent a message and the Turkish Minister of Health Mr. Recep Akda? has taken to responsibility and provided the report for teacher ?afak. Through this, the voice of teacher ?afak was heard and the expenditure of his treatment abroad was undertaken by the Turkish Government. However the report was not enough in order to start the treatment. His application for a USA visa was made on the 2nd of July, but until today the visa has not yet been given as the reason for this is unknown. In normal circumstances urgent health visas are given in one or two days, however this visa has turned to a death visa for teacher ?afak. If he doesn’t receive a visa until the 6th of August his appointment in America will be cancelled to September. His appointment in the health foundation in the USA is on the 6th of August and teacher ?afak’s race with time is running out. This means that another month will be wasted in order to start his treatment, and his body will not be able to handle another month to this illness as his situation is getting worse every minute. We would like to stress that teacher ?afak is not alone at his struggle to live as living is a right of every human being. We hope that his dream will come true that one day he will be walking with his books to his classroom. We urgently claim for the USA Government to give Mr. ?afak Bay a visa and for the Turkish Government to keep their promise in order to cure the unfortunate illness of teacher ?afak. We seek for Education Internationals support and solidarity on this common struggle.
We ask your support, EI’s pressure and your union’s solidarity for Safak Bay.
Please send your e-mail and fax messages for seeking a quick response to his visa application.
Mr. Abdullah Gul, President of Turkey: firstname.lastname@example.org , FAX: +90 312 470 13 16
Ministry of Health: email@example.com
Ministry of National Education: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may visit the website dedicated to solidarity with Safak. It could be very good to leave a solidarity message to the forum page. http://www.safakyasasin.org/imza.html
Please get in touch with me for further information or solidarity.
Egitim Sen International Relations Expert