Police detained a 55-year-old Turkish woman just hours before her flight to Mecca, a long-desired destination where she had been planning to pray for her deceased husband.
A recent tip sent to Turkey Purge sheds lights on how the massive purge initiated by the government following a coup attempt on July 15 has wreaked havoc on the lives of ordinary citizens.
The letter written by an anonymous sender, edited only for grammar, appears below.
“My father passed away 2 years ago. My mom and my dad had been waiting to go on pilgrimage to Mecca since 2007. After my father passed away, my mother wanted to make the pilgrimage even more so she could pray for my dad. Finally this year, my mother was one of those chosen in the lottery to go. Finally her, and more importantly my dad’s dreams, would come true. She was ready to leave, but at around 10 p.m. the police knocked on her door.
They searched her home for about 6 hours and finally found some bank statements from Bank Asya, which was controlled by the government at the time. But this was enough for them to detain her. They took her away. The only thing she was upset about was that she had a flight in around 10 hours. She had been waiting for that moment for almost 9 years, but she was not going to be able to go because of having an account in a government-controlled bank. She was detained for some 25 days and then arrested. Now she is under arrest. She is not upset because she knows that she is innocent, but she feels guilty because she couldn’t keep the promise she made to herself for my father. She is diabetic and over 55 years old. We are all waiting for justice to arrive in our country some day.”
In 2015, the management of Islamic lender Bank Asya was taken over by the government due to its ties to the Gülen movement, which Turkey accuses of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt.