ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE: Two more men abducted in Turkey

Salih Zeybek and Gökhan Türkmen, two former Turkish civil servants who were dismissed from their jobs by government decrees, were reportedly abducted in February, their wives wrote on social media this week.

Fatma Betül Zeybek, the wife of Salih Zeybek, said her husband was abducted by armed men in the Turkish province of Edirne on the evening of Feb. 21.

Writing from her husband’s Twitter account on Monday, Zeybek said the family’s automobile was stopped by armed men at the Havsa toll booth in Edirne while their 6 and 9-year-old children were in the vehicle.

The woman said the men threatened to harm her family if she reported the incident to the police and that that was the reason she waited five days to file a criminal complaint at a prosecutor’s office against the perpetrators of the incident.

“Only today was I able to file a criminal complaint [against the abductors]. I have not heard from my husband for six days. I am worried for his life, I don’t know where he is,” the woman tweeted, asking for assistance from Turkish authorities to find her husband.

The wife of Gökhan Türkmen, who also wrote from a Twitter account created on behalf of her husband (@gokhanturkmen07), reported that she had not received any news from her husband for 20 days, asking for help from the Interior Ministry and the Antalya Governor’s Office. 

Forty-two-year-old Gökhan 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. According to his family, Türkmen was hiding from persecution and torture after his house was raided by heavily armed counterterrorism police in his absence in August 2016.

When his mother went to the Antalya Police Department for help, she was reportedly told that a car belonging to Turkmen had been traced to Ankara. However, the family reports that Özmen’s car has been in a parking area since he left the house to go into hiding. Moreover, the family was told that Türkmen recently used his credit card and two new sim cards that were activated in his name. The family was shocked as he had left his credit cards at home. The family is concerned about possible attempts to plant evidence to incriminate him.

Last week Özgür Kaya and Yasin Ugan, both of Ankara, were reportedly abducted by armed men from their apartment building, with police saying they have no information on their whereabouts. However, Turkish journalist Cevheri Güven discovered that the Ankara Police Department filed a report on the abduction of the two men earlier this month while at the same time denying any knowledge of the incident or their whereabouts.

With the two new cases this week, the total number of people reportedly abducted in February has now reached four. No information regarding the allegations of abduction had been released by any Turkish authorities as of the time of writing. (SCF with turkishminute.com, Bold Medya)

Take a second to support SCF on Patreon!