“My bookstore and stationary business had been operating since 1983 in Turgutlu, the biggest town of Manisa province, but because of recent events, it was closed down.
As I am a founding member of Turgutlu Korfez College Preparatory School (established 1994), on Tuesday, July 19, 2016, I was detained by the police in my store and taken for interrogation. After 4 hours in police custody, I was let go. I fled the country the following day in fear of persecution. Later, I learned that on the evening of Friday, July 22, 2016, the police had raided my home and my store simultaneously. My employee, C.E., went to the store after hearing the store alarm. He was detained as well, just for being an employee at my bookstore. They have seized and shutdown my business and it is no longer in operation. My employee C.E. was kept in custody for 2 weeks and later arrested illegally.
For the last 34 years I have worked without receiving any warning or penalty, but my business was illegally closed down anyways, my bank accounts have been frozen, and my car has been seized from my garage by the authorities. With my business is closed, I can’t pay my taxes, I can’t pay the salaries or the benefits of my three employees. My monthly expenses, credit card bills, and my business debts continue to grow. I have become a victim of this situation that I have nothing to do with. There is no functioning law in Turkey; there is no legal authority through which I can request fair and just treatment.”