Following the abduction of former director of Pak-Turk schools Mesut Kaçmaz and his family including two young daughters in the wee hours of Wednesday in Lahore, another Turkish family’s house was raided by Pakistani police in Islamabad Wednesday night over their links to the Gülen movement.
After the request of the Turkish government and the Turkish Intelligence Organisation (MİT), Pakistani authorities have continued to detain Turkish educators and entrepreneurs over their alleged links to the Gülen movement. Following the abduction of the educator Kaçmaz and his family from their home in Lahore, unidentified people raided the house belonging to Y.Ö., who has lived in Pakistan for 21 years, and is currently engaged in publishing activities after a long teaching history.
According to information that the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) accessed, 5 people, who introduced themselves as the members of the Pakistan intelligence service FIA, came to Y.Ö.’s house at around 11 p.m. on Wednesday night . He was asked the location of M.E., the administrator of the Pak-Turk schools and threatened: “You are the very last person who met him. You will tell us where he is. Otherwise we will collect and arrest all the Turks in Pakistan.”
Despite the fact that Y.Ö. asked about their identities, none of them showed any identity. However, in front of their children, Y.Ö.’s Pakistani wife was forced to get in the car in order to show the location where Turkish citizen M.E. lived in. But with the intervention of a Pak-Turk school lawyer, this attempt was finally blocked at last moment. Civilian clothed people left the house at 1 a.m. on early Thursday.
On Thursday, Y.Ö. went to the police station and made a denunciation. He complained against those who came to raid the house regardless of showing their identities, forcibly withheld him and his wife and threatened them.
It is stated that M.E., who has been in Pakistan for 12 years, is one of the founders of the Pak-Turk schools and is therefore the target of Turkish intelligence. Now, it is known that after the kidnapping of the Kaçmaz Family, M.E. and his family were worried, left their home and are hiding somewhere else.
There has been a witch-hunt for Turkish educators in Pakistan in parallel to Turkey since July 2016. The Pak-Turk schools were closed at the request of the Turkish government and a period of 1 month was given for all educators to leave the country.
The schools were intended to be transferred to the Maarif Foundation, an extension of the ruling AKP government under the rule of autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey. While the board of trustees of the school taking the case to Pakistani court, the teachers were also taken under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the country. With the special visa issued by the UN, the educators in the country have decided to wait for the court decision.
The Supreme Court of Islamabad halted the decision in March 2017 and judged that the Pakistani state would not be able to confiscate the schools as private establishments. In addition, court made a decision that the teachers issued a UNHCR certificate could not be deported at any cost or taken any legal action until November 20, 2017.
After this, the Pak-Türk schools, which were continuing their activities, had decided to continue without the Turkish administrators and teachers. At the moment, only Pakistani local administrators and teachers are working in the schools.
It was learned that through the Turkish intelligence a list had come up to the Turkish Embassy and that list was handed over to the Pakistani government in order to arrest and consign everyone mentioned in this list.
Islamabad, where some of the Pak-Turk schools are located, is the city where most Turkish people live in. Y.Ö. is one of them. According to the information received, some Turkish educators and entrepreneurs realized that they had been followed on Monday. Since they are under the protection of the UNHCR, they informed the UNHCR about the situation by adding that “We do not feel safe. We are in danger,” and asked for extra protection. Two days later, Mesut Kaçmaz and his family were abducted from their houses at midnight in Lahore.
After this, all the Turkish families close to the Gülen movement in Islamabad and Lahore left their homes. They were settled in houses belonging to Pakistani families who want to host them in groups. Despite the court’s decision, since they are wanted to be kidnapped illegally, they have been going to the court one by one to make their allegations.
On the other hand, it is reported that Mesut Kaçmaz and his family have been transferred to Islamabad after being detained in a residence in Lahore. The place of the family, which is requested to be deported to Turkey, is kept confidential. They are not allowed to meet or contact by anyone.