Turkish gov’t seizes woman’s passport while on way to visit writer husband in exile

Police at İstanbul’s International Atatürk Airport has seized the passport of Fatma Tunç, the wife of writer Aziz Tunç while she was on way to visit her husband in Germany, media said on Wednesday.

Briefly detained at the airport, Tunç was told by police that there are “suspected people” in her family and that she may go abroad only if her husband and son return to Turkey. Tunc’s passport was seized and revoked, media said.

Author of several books on Turkey’s Alevi community, writer Aziz Tunç has been living in exile in Germany for some 2 years. According to media, he went to Germany for a panel discussion shortly before the July 15, 2016 and has never returned back to Turkey. The couple’s son also lives in exile fearing government persecution due to his political activities.

“This is obviously an act of taking hostage. Associating my wife with me and my son means taking her hostage. It is illegal, unethical and inhumane,” the writer told Evrensel newspaper. “This is not happening only to me. They have done this to many people in Turkey. More unique sufferings took place. Neither my wife nor anybody deserved this. But, as it may be observed, there is a lawless and uncontrolled tyranny here. We have to live in exile just because we speak out these. And we are punished with such methods. The only way to get away with these is to expand the resistance,” he concluded.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Dec. 12, 2017 that 234,419 passports revoked as only part of investigations into the Gülen movement since the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Turkish police have seized 4,806 passports and detained 132 people at İstanbul’s International Atatürk Airport as part of investigations into alleged followers of the Gülen movement, Sabah daily reported on early July 2017.

Turkish government has also revoked travel documents and passports of many Turks without informing them and filed missing and lost reports with Interpol on their behalf when in fact no such request was made by passport holders.

Thousands of people have fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the government against all kinds of opposition in the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 failed coup.

Some 150,000 have lost their jobs, more than 126,000 have been detained and some 56,000 including academics, judges, doctors, teachers, lawyers, students, policemen and many from different backgrounds have been put in pre-trial detention since last summer. Many tried to escape Turkey via illegal ways as the government cancelled their passports like thousands of others. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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