Aynur Horzum, the wife of Ümit Horzum, who was kidnapped on December 6, 2017 cried out on the government’s and people’s indifference about his husband’s abduction and stated that “I am very scared of that if something happens to my husband, my children, even myself. I am unable to sleep. I have fear of being unable to come back when I go out. And the worst is I am so lonely… We have no one.”
Ümit Horzum, a Turkish citizen who was dismissed from his duty at the Turkish Accreditation Agency (TURKAK) by a government decree on August 2016 under the rule of emergency declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 over his alleged links to the Gülen movement, was abducted in Ankara by unidentified person or persons.
Since then his family and relatives could have not taken information whereabouts of Ümit Horzum. It was also reported that Horzum was sought by police after a detention warrant was issued for him over his alleged links to the Gülen movement and his house was raided by gendermarie on August 16, 2016. However, he has not surrendered to police because of his fear of widespread and systematic torture in detention. Horzum has reportedly not stayed at his home for a long time since he has been afraid of detention.
Eventually, a friend of the family has informed that Ümit Horzum was abducted near Ankara A City Shopping Center at 6 p.m. on December 6, 2017. Afterwards, his wife Aynur Horzum’s efforts to learn the place, where he is kept, have given no result. It was reported that Aynur Horzum has applied to police department, gendarmerie and prosecutor’s offices to get information about him and to check if he was detained. However, she could not find any trace of his husband.
After learning that there is no detention registration about her husband, Aynur Horzum applied to a gendarmerie station near her house and informed the authorities that his husband was abducted. A Gendarmerie Commander has reportedly warned her to give up looking after her husband and stated that “No good can come to you from him. He is a wanted man with a charge of life imprisonment over being an executive in a terror organisation.” The same commander has reportedly registered the application as “missing” instead of “abduction.”
After this scandal Horzum’s wife had intended to make a legal complaint. However none of the prosecutors have accepted her application. Eventually, a prosecutor has accepted her legal complaint with a condition that she will give up tracing her husband. The prosecutor has also refused to give her an application registration number. Aynur Horzum has stated that her husband has not had even a simple investigation until he was dismissed from his duty by the government under the rule of emergency.
Aynur Horzum said in a letter she sent recently to Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a prominent human rights activist and a columnist for online news portal Artı Gerçek, that “I went to Ankara Courthouse on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, but unfortunately I came to know that the historical traffic search (HTS) report of the mobile phone that my husband used was still not answered by Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), although it has been 57 days since the incident.”
She said “I wandered around the streets of Ankara in order to find a hint or a witness.”
The full text of Gergerlioğlu’s article as follows:
“Ümit Horzum, who has two children, had been kidnapped on December 6, 2017. His wife wrote these lines to me; “I am very scared of that if something happens to my husband, my children, even myself. I am unable to sleep. I have fear of being unable to come back when I go out. And the worst is I am so lonely… We have no one.”
I watched the children’s call to their father on the family’s twitter account, then the children with full of innocence have longing after their father… And they are still waiting for their father for days.
Ümit Horzum’s wife knocked so many doors and faced with heartbreaking maltreatments. ‘I am an electrical and electronic engineer who has been dismissed. So far I have not allowed anyone to despise and crush me… I lived with dignity. Now I’m very uncomfortable with a policeman or a sergeant or a clerk to ridicule my pain and kick me out. I hardly contain myself. I am afraid that one day I will go crazy and cause quite a stir. I believe the treatments I face are very disrespectful and such as to fuel my pains. I’m taking the path of least resistance to be the head of my children and leave the rest to Allah. I have only a wish to find my husband safely.’
But she didn’t give up. For days, after the rushes between the police headquarter and prosecution, she said that;
‘My lawyer is preparing a petition for the Constitutional Court (AYM). On Tuesday the prosecutor said that there is no result yet. In short, even though I could make my voice heard a bit, I have nothing in the sense of legal or evidence/image. I’m at the point where I started.’
She continued to struggle every day, and she said;
‘Unofficially, a police officer said that he never be caught on CCTV in December, but this is not possible, I could learn where he went that day. In fact, there are cameras very close to petrol station where he refueled the day before. The prosecution will probably give the same result… I think the records are deleted… I have my hands free.’
But she followed up and applied to international organizations. “The ECtHR and the UN applications were also filed, both of of them asked for a report on what the prosecutor did with an urgent code.”
The incident has been transferred to the international arena, but unfortunately there is no one in the nation who heard, if heard there is no news in the media. While we wait for an answer from the official authorities, see what is the last point his wife reached with her own efforts after days?
Again Ümit Horzum’s wife explains this from her twitter account;
“In Ankara I was able to identify a data that the police could not detect, by myself. I cannot express my feelings, we are desperate and suffering.”
Is there any one turning red in the face due to the words said by this woman, whose husband was abducted?
And she continues to explain on her twitter account. How are these allegations unable to resound at a high level, it’s really astonishing..!
‘I wandered around the streets of Ankara in order to find a hint or a witness. I went to the petrol stations. Finally, I have determined the petrol station at Turgut Özal Avenue, No: 30 which belongs to Petrol Mob. Dek. Tur. Teks. Otom. San. ve Tic AS, an Opet dealer, where my husband, Umit Horzum, refueled his vehicle.’
She shared the invoice registration and added;
‘Petrol Station’s officer said camera images were deleted within every 15 days, if the police had received camera footage in time, perhaps the images of the suspects chasing after my husband would have been identified.’
This is the case, the next thing to be done is to ask from the top, so that she called out to administrative chief of Ankara.
‘If the police officers, in charge of the investigation, had already taken the camera images of the petrol station in time before it was erased, perhaps the perpetrators would have been found by now. My husband would have been saved as well. It was said that my husband had the last CCTV footage on November 29, 2017. I am seriously concerned about the spoliation of evidence. It is known that spoliation of evidence conduces heavy sanctions according to our laws. If there were those who have caused the loss of evidence by acting dilatorily in the investigation, I demand that the necessary actions by operation of law to be carried out. It’s a fact that there are so many cameras and plate recognition systems on the road route. And I think these footages will contain images of suspects who followed my husband.’
But there is still no explanation from the administrative chief. There is no news from the other authorities as well. Ümit Horzum’s wife has no answers for a long time, actually she found that the authorities couldn’t find.
‘I went to Ankara Courthouse on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, but unfortunately I came to know that the historical traffic search (HTS) report of the mobile phone that my husband used was still not answered by Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), although it has been 57 days since the incident.’
These are very important… We will be following this case. In the 21st century, a wife, a mother struggles alone. In Turkey’s capital, a woman, whose husband was kidnapped, chased after the incident where there are a lot of cameras on the roads and tried to light up the darkness. This lonely lady’s agenda is a very intense agenda that I put in the forefront of my agendas. Because we have a woman who makes a stand against extremely dark, full of questions, a stonewalled event. Helping this mother and innocent children is what our conscience has ordered us to do. It is necessary to make a statement in the face of such obvious evidence that the administrative chief of the estate should do. I expect an explanation from the governor of Ankara, Ercan Topaca.”