Turkey’s pro-gov’t media reports Kaçmaz family abducted by Pakistani authorities

The controversy persists over the abduction of Mesut Kaçmaz, the director of Pak-Turk School, and his family members in Pakistan and their illegal deportation to Turkey. While Pakistan government has not made any official statement on the scandal, it has been claimed unofficially that they have no involvement into the abduction and the deportation of the Kaçmaz family.

It was stated that the Pakistani government is reluctant to take responsibility of delivering Turkish family which was under the protection of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to the despotic regime of Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by violating a decision taken by a Pakistani court.

General Attorney of Pakistan has claimed that “We have no information about the abduction,” during an hearing in the case of the Kaçmaz family before the Lahore High Court on Tuesday. The attorney has also presented official letters from Pakistan’s interior and foreign ministries which have been containing similar views.

However, the arguments of the Pakistani government have been falsified by pro-Erdoğan media in Turkey. The reports published in the front pages of pro-government Turkish media  in last two days have exposed the role of Pakistani government in the scandal of Kaçmaz family’s abduction in Lahore and their illegal deportation to Turkey.

Takvim daily, which is owned and administered by Erdoğan family, has reported that Kaçmaz family was abducted by Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Pakistan at the request of Turkish government. Pro-government Hürriyet daily has also reported that Turkish government sent an unregistered private plane to Islamabad to take Kaçmaz family to Turkey. These reports have showed Pakistani authorities obvious role and disproved the arguments asserted by Pakistani government over their irresponsibility in abduction of Kaçmaz family and and the scandal of their illegal deportation to Turkey.

Takvim daily has reported on the abduction and deportation process of Kaçmaz family in a story under the headline of “Even UN could not rescue the FETÖist treator.”

“FETÖ” is a derogatory buzzword, coined by political Islamist Erdoğan who calls the civic and pacifist Gülen movement as “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization.”

The daily has reported that “Mesut Kaçmaz, the director of Pak-Turk Schools, which are affiliated with the FETÖ, and his family who have been continuing to stay in Pakistan thanks to a special statue given by the UN despite they were tried to be deported from the country, were deported to Turkey. The UN shield could not save Mesut Kaçmaz. Pakistan government’s security forces raided the house where Metin Kaçmaz live with his wife and his two daughters in midnight on September 27 in Lahore. FETÖist Kaçmaz family, who resisted against the security forces, were detained, handcuffed and hooded. The operation was conducted by anti-terror unit. Pakistan has proved that it is a friend of Turkey despite of all obstacles. FETÖist school director and his family were sent by plane from İslamabad to Turkey as they were blindfolded on Saturday morning. Mesut Kaçmaz and his wife were taken into interrogation in Ankara. The daughters of the couple were sent to their relatives in İstanbul.

Pro-government Hürriyet daily has also reported the news as main story in its front page with a title of “Very special expedition.” The daily reported that “An unregistered plane, which was sent by Turkey to Islamabad, took FETÖ suspect couple and their daughters, who were deported by Pakistan, and brought them to Ankara. Mesut Kaçmaz, a FETÖ suspect director of the chain of Pak-Turk Schools, his wife and their two daughters, who live in Lahore were detained by Pakistan police on September 27. The members of the family, who were hooded and handcuffed as they were detained in their house, were kept under custody for 17 days in Lahore. Then, Turkey sent a small unregistered private plane last Saturday for Kaçmaz family who had been already transferred to İslamabad. The couple were handed over to Turkish authorities as their eyes were blindfolded. Their two daughters were handed over to their relatives in İstanbul. Mesut Kaçmaz and his wife were taken to Ankara for interrogation.”

The pro-government Güneş daily has also said on Monday that Turkish teacher Mesut Kacmaz and his family were brought back home at Turkey’s request despite the family’s asylum certificates granted by the  UNHCR. In a front-page story, Güneş said Turkey brought the Kaçmaz family back despite their UN protection. Taken away from their apartment in Lahore in the middle of the night on Sept 27, Kaçmaz family had been staying in Pakistan for over a year on UN’s asylum seeker certificate. The Pakistani government earlier asked teachers working at the schools affiliated with the Gülen movement to leave the country at Turkey’s request. Güneş daily also reported that Kaçmaz family including the two children were blindfolded and hooded by Pakistani’s anti-terror police. The daily said Mr. and Mrs. Kacmaz were taken to a police station in Ankara for interrogation while the children were handed over to a relative in İstanbul.

Kaçmaz family, who were abducted from their home at a midnight in Lahore on September 27, were deported by Pakistani government to Turkey on early Saturday just two days before their scheduled appearance before a Pakistani court on Monday.

According to information given by the friends, Mesut Kaçmaz and his wife Meral Kaçmaz were reportedly transferred to Ankara for interrogation. They were blindfolded and boarded on an unmarked flight from Islamabad for İstanbul in the morning on October 14, 2017. It was learned that teenaged daughters of Kaçmaz Couple have not been detained and reportedly staying with a relative in İstanbul.

Kaçmaz Family has UNHCR certificate, which is valid for November 24, 2017. Moreover, Pakistan Office of UNHCR has already extended the period of certificate for 1 more year and the documents have already been delivered to other Turkish teachers in the country.

Mesut Kaçmaz, who graduated from the Department of Urdu Language and Literature in Konya’s Selçuk University in Turkey, has been involved educational and cultural activities in Pakistan since 2007. Mesut Kaçmaz, married to Meral Kaçmaz who is a teacher like himself, is the father of two daughters.

Mesut Kaçmaz worked as the principal of the PakTurk Clifton Boys School. The school has so far passed out hundreds of graduates and represented the country successfully by receiving medals at international science olympiads. Back in 2008, the New York Times covered the constructive role of the PakTurk schools and their achievements by quoting Mr. Kaçmaz.

The witch hunt launched in 2013 in Turkey targeting the alleged followers of the Gülen movement in the wake of a massive corruption and bribery scandal of Turkish government ministers and their family members on December 17-25, 2013 has even affected Pakistan. Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan put the pressure on the Pakistani government to close the educational and cultural institutions alleged to be affiliated with the movement and to deport the Turkish citizens working in these institutions.

In November 2016, the Pakistani government did not extend the visas of these teachers and their families and ordered them to leave the country within three days. Teachers moved courts and objected the decision. During this period, they also applied to the UNHCR and were issued asylum seeker certificates placing them under the UN protection.

In May Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Georgia and Myanmar handed over academics, businessmen and school principals upon the Turkish government’s request even though some of those victims already had refugee status with the UN like Kacmaz family.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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