4 of 6 men abducted six months ago now in police custody, 2 remain missing

The family members of four men who were reportedly abducted by Turkish intelligence in February confirmed yesterday that their relatives were in custody at the Ankara Police Department’s Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau.

Two of the abducted men are still missing. 

Betül Zeybek, wife of computer technician Salim Zeybek, who was abducted on Feb. 21, announced on Twitter that she had received a call from the Ankara police yesterday evening who said her husband had been detained and that he was in good health.

The family members of Yasin Ugan and Özgür Koca, who were kidnapped together in broad daylight on Feb. 13 from their apartment building in Ankara, also confirmed that Ugan and Koca were being held at the Ankara Police Department.

The wife of Erkan Irmak, who was reportedly kidnapped in front of his house in İstanbul on the night of Feb. 16, 2019, tweeted: “Thanks to Allah, I have received information that my husband is in custody. I will keep you informed.”

Gökhan Türkmen

Unfortunately, the anxious wait for the family members of the other two abductees, Gökhan Türkmen and Mustafa Yılmaz, is not over. Türkmen, a civil servant dismissed from his job during a state of emergency declared after an abortive coup on July 15, 2016, is believed to have been abducted on Feb. 6.



Mustafa Yılmaz

Yılmaz was reportedly kidnapped in Ankara when he left his home on Feb. 19, 2019. Yılmaz was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and was released pending appeal in January 2019 after 100 days in pretrial detention.

According to data compiled by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), 27 people have been abducted in Turkey since the controversial coup attempt in July 2016. Mysterious disappearances involving already-victimized opposition groups have become a common occurrence in Turkey in the aftermath of the abortive putsch.

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