Ayşe Abdurrezzak, a 37-year-old teacher who was dismissed from her job after a coup attempt in July 126, and her children Abdulkadir Enes Abdurrezzak (11) and Halil Munir Abdurrezzak (3) died on Feb. 13, 2018 after a boat carrying a group of eight capsized in the Maritsa River.
What were they doing on that boat?
They were escaping an ongoing crackdown carried out by the Turkish government since July 15, 2016 coup attempt .
Along with Ayşe and her kids, four others went missing.
Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) managed to recover the bodies of the three family members, while the four missing had yet to be found at the time of writing. The eighth had made it into Greece, according to AFAD.
Media said residents near the river heard screams and informed the gendarmerie.
According to people with knowledge of the situation, the boat was carrying three men, three children and two women.
One of the men, Ayşe’s husband, is also a teacher who was earlier dismissed from his job under a post-coup state of emergency decree.
Thousands of people have fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government against sympathizers of the Gülen movement in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The government accuses the movement of masterminding the coup, while the movement denies any involvement.
Some 150,000 people have been detained, and nearly 60,000 including academics, judges, doctors, teachers, lawyers, students, policemen and others have been put in pretrial detention since the coup attempt. Meanwhile, 150,000 people have lost their jobs in the government’s post-coup purge of state institutions.
Many tried to flee Turkey illegally as the government had cancelled thousands of passports.
In November 2017, Huseyin Maden, a 40-year-old Kastamonu teacher, also dismissed in the aftermath of the failed coup, drowned along with his wife and three children while seeking to flee to the Greek island of Lesvos.
The eighth, identified as Fatih Yasar, had made it into Greece. Yasar told Euronews that the water was so cold that it was so hard to move.