A Turkish family that was reportedly detained by Ukrainian authorities on Thursday, have been kept in a room at Kiev Boryspil Airport for three days, waiting to be deported to Turkey, according to a video recording the family members posted on social media.
Ali Yıldız, the father, said in a video recording he posted on Twitter late on Saturday, they were coming from Bangkok and stopped in Kiev to making it onto their connecting flight to Casablanca.
“My name is Ali Yıldız. I have been 3 days in this room. I came from Bangkok to Kiev as a tourist. I am a Turkish citizen. Ukraine does not require visa from Turkish citizens. Now, we are at Kiev International Airport. Two soldiers (wait) outside. Yesterday (Friday), I had a flight from Kiev to Casablanca. They did not allow me to fly. They said ‘we are going to send you to Bangkok. (However) Today, two officers came and said you cannot fly again. I asked them ‘Why am I not flying?’ They said ‘Now you can fly only to Turkey, İstanbul,” Yıldız said.
In a follow-up video recording, Yıldız said that he does not want the Ukrainians to send his family to Turkey.
“I don’t know what the reason is and why had happened. Please help me!” Yıldız said.
The Yıldız family is believed to have a relation with Turkey’s Gülen group, which the Turkish government accuses of masterminding a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. After the putsch, the government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the Gülen group for the attempt.
The group denies any involvement.
President Erdoğan earlier called on foreign governments to punish Gülenists in their own countries. Only a few countries, including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Georgia, seem to have complied with the request so far.
In one of the examples, Muhammet Furkan Sökmen, a Turkish teacher working for two schools established by Gulen movement followers in Myanmar, was forcibly returned to Turkey despite his cries for help on social media.
He was detained at Istanbul Ataturk Airport and was taken to a police station for interrogation, on Saturday.
Sökmen called for “help from the world” in a video recording he posted on social media minutes before he was handed over to Turkish authorities at Yangon International Airport by Myanmar police on Friday.
According to another video he earlier posted on social media, Sökmen, his wife Ayşe and daughter Sibel were detained by local immigration officials who told the family that Turkish government had invalidated their passports.
According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, Sökmen was first forcibly deported to Bangkok, Thailand on May 24.