There has been no trace of Turkish teacher Mesut Kacmaz and his family since they were abducted by a group of people in police uniforms in Pakistan 15 days ago.
Kacmaz’s parents, worried over the safety of their children, are seeking help from the United Nations.
— Turkey Purge (@TurkeyPurge) October 9, 2017
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 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 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.
Fatih Avcı, who was also abducted along with Kacmaz family and later released, said their heads were covered with bags and that he could not see where Kaçmaz and his family were taken to.
Avcı, who was a colleague of Kaçmaz and lived upstairs from the family, heard sounds coming from downstairs and saw 15 people in police uniforms. Upon protesting over the police officers’ attitude towards Mrs. Kaçmaz, Avcı was also detained, and they were all taken to Toyota Hilux pickups, where their heads were covered, Avcı said. According to Avcı’s statement, they were initially taken to a place that looked like a guest house, and he was told that his name was not on the list. Avcı was brought back to his residence and released.
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 despite the fact that some of those victims already had refugee status with the UN like Kacmaz family.