Appeals court overturns decision to lift travel ban on mother of cancer patient

A Turkish appeals court on Tuesday overturned a decision to revoke a travel restriction on the passport of Zekiye Ataç, the mother of an 8-year-old cancer patient who was to restart treatment in Germany.

A day ago, a prosecutor’s office ordered a temporary lifting of the travel ban following an intense, weeks-long social media campaign by human rights activists and well-known personalities, such as Zülfü Livaneli, a famous Turkish artist.

Ataç’s husband has been in jail due to alleged ties to the Gülen movement, which is accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt, although it strongly denies any involvement.

On the pretext of an anti-coup fight, more than 130,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others are still in jail and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

Ataç is also a suspect in an ongoing investigation related to the Gülen movement.

Ahmet Burhan Ataç traveled to Germany on Jan. 20 without his mother, and later started treatment with funding raised by Natali Avazyan, a rights activist; however, he missed his mother and returned Turkey a few days later.

He has suffered from osteoid cancer for more than a year, which has now spread to his lungs. (

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