The wife of a retired teacher in Turkey’s Aydın province has become a victim of what many call a relentless government witch-hunt against suspected sympathizers of the Gülen movement, which stands accused of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt.
The government pinned the blame for the abortive coup on the movement, which has denied any involvement, although its followers have failed to escape massive arrests.
“I am the wife of a teacher in Aydın who was retired from the Education Ministry,” the woman, known only by the initials A.G., said in a recent tip submitted to Turkey Purge.
“My husband was detained on accusations of support for the coup on July 15. They arrested him after his testimony, which he gave only five days after his detention. He survived pancreatic cancer and is 60 years old. There has been neither an indictment against him nor any hearing since then.
“My elder son was a police inspector in Konya’s Ilgın district. As his colleagues reported him to the police for appearing cheerful while on guard duty the night of the coup, he is now under arrest in Akşehir. His two children and wife are doing poorly. She stays in the same district to visit her husband despite our efforts to send her back to her hometown in Diyarbakır.
“My younger son and his wife were working for the Foreign Ministry. He managed to get a scholarship at Harvard University for his Ph.D. and had been in the US for the past two years. He and his wife were fired without and question immediately after he returned to the country. They also have a two-year-old daughter.
“My little brother was also a police inspector in Tunceli’s Nazimiye district. He was arrested and sacked since he had the ByLock application on his mobile phone. His wife and a child sought safety in our home. They were also forced by police in Nazımiye to vacate their state-run, low-cost lodgings.
“Now we, three families, depend on my husband’s pension. I fear they will also seize that sooner or later.
“For days, I have been thinking about what we and our children had done bad to this country. I couldn’t find an answer. I have never figured out why me and my three daughters-in-law, all aged between 27 and 28, along with my four grandchildren, with the oldest being 5 at most, are being punished.
“Humanity may want to hear our voice. A.G.”