The pro-government Güneş daily 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 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In a front-page story on Monday, 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, Kacmaz 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 Gulen movement to leave the country at Turkey’s request.
Mesut Kacmaz is a former principal of the Pak Turk schools, founded by the followers of the Gulen movement.
Gunes said Kacmaz 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 Istanbul.
Meanwhile, Reuters quoted a Pakistani official as saying: “On Saturday, they were deported to Turkey from Islamabad on a special plane sent by the Turkish government.”
Turkish government holds the Gulen movement responsible for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt while the latter denies involvement. More than 126,000 people have been detained over ties to the movement in Turkey so far while President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier called on foreign governments to punish Gulen followers in their own countries.
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.