Ümit Horzum, a former public servant who was earlier removed from his job at Turkish Accreditation Agency (TURKAK) in a government’s post-coup emergency decree, has been released from police custody where he spent 11 days after his 133 days of disappearance.
“God bless you all. Thanks for your prayers. My husband was released. We try to get over the trauma we have been through,” Umit’s wife Aynur Horzum tweeted late Friday.
Earlier, Mrs. Horzum said her husband had been abducted by unknown people and had his ribs broken and eardrum burst due to torture and maltreatment during his disappearance. Only after he recovered from the bruises and torture marks on his body, he was handed over to Ankara police by his abductees on April 16, Aynur said.
She also posted a picture on Twitter posing along with her children and husband who appears with months-old beard and long hair.
Aynur did not elaborate on the charges raised against her husband. She only said her husband was released after a court hearing.
Horzum’s disappearance made it to the news for the first time when Mrs. Horzum tweeted in late 2017 the following : “I haven’t heard from my husband Ümit Horzum since Wednesday, Dec 6, 2017, 6 pm. …Following media reports on tortured detainees, my husband was scared and he left home to hide. …A short while after leaving, gendarmerie came to our home to detain him. …He was not staying at home since then. A few days ago, one of his friends stopped by to say that his car was stopped and that he was abducted by force. [His friend] left without answering any further question.”
According to his own record, she requested help from authorities several times, to no avail. Then, she started to collect evidence regarding the alleged abduction. But, what she found was that security footage from a gas station where Ümit filled up his car’s tank a day before being abducted was deleted, according to her tweets. Mrs Horzum said he managed to obtain a receipt of his last gas purchase and his car. When she found the car however, police repeatedly asked her how she found it.
On March 28, she said: “WITH MY OWN EFFORTS, I found my husband’s car with one of its tires deflated …near Yildiz Park in Altındağ/Ankara, at around 4.30 pm on March 24, 2018, 109 days after the incident.”
13 people reported abducted in Turkey since 2016 failed coup
Mysterious disappearances involving already-victimized opposition groups have become a common occurrence in Turkey in the aftermath of a July 15 coup attempt.
At least thirteen people were alleged have been abducted so far. Those not seen for quite some time mostly have in common in their personal histories that they have lost their jobs amid a sweeping crackdown that the Turkish government has conducted against its critics, particularly members of the Gülen movement.
Turkish government accuses the movement of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies. More than 150,000 people have lost their jobs, some 150,000 have been detained and 80,000 of them were remanded in prison pending trial over Gulen ties so far.
Journalist Cem Küçük, a staunch supporter of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, suggested during a live TV program on Monday that Turkish intelligence should kill family members of jailed Gülenists in order to turn the inmates into operatives for the Erdoğan regime.
Speaking during a live TV show along with his program partner journalist Fuat Uğur, Küçük said Israeli intelligence agency MOSSAD had killed family members of Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian inmates to make them MOSSAD operatives.