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Feb 11 2019

Wife of exiled journalist Dündar says, "enough is enough"

The son of exiled Turkish journalist Can Dündar, said that his mother, whose passport was seized and never returned, is being held hostage by Ankara in exchange for his father, independent news site T24 reported.

“When my mother wanted to follow my father in September, following the [July 2016] coup attempt, they seized her passport illegally. This is a violation of the personalisation of criminal responsibility. Her passport has not been returned since,’’ Ege Dündar said at a conference in London on Sept. 9, adding that his mother, economist  Dilek Dündar, was being held hostage in exchange for his father.

Journalist Can Dündar was first arrested in November 2015 on charges of espionage, aiding a terrorist organization, attempting to topple the government and revealing state secrets - all charges based on the footage published in Cumhuriyet daily, where he served as editor-in-chief.

In May 2016, Dündar was convicted on charges of disclosing state secrets after he reported arms shipments to Syrian rebels by the Turkish intelligence service. The former Cumhuriyet daily editor-in-chief now lives in Germany and faces detention warrants in two separate ongoing probes in Turkey.

Ege Dündar, who works with PEN International and is the founding coordinator of İlkyaz Magazine, also shared a video of his mother, where she explained her frustration over her inability to travel, despite facing no investigation or having no charges levelled at her.

Tens of thousands of Turks had their passports seized with decree laws issued by the Turkish state during the country’s state of emergency rule which came into effect after the 2016 coup attempt. 

Ege Dündar’s explained that their home in İstanbul was recently seized because they have been unable to pay their debt. However, a ban placed on Dündear from selling property is the source of their financial problems, he explained.

Ege Dündar stressed that his family was one of many who are suffering in Turkey under unjust practices of Ankara, which have increased since the failed putsch.

Since July 2016, Turkey has jailed 77,000 people including journalists, academics and human rights activists in what is says is a crackdown on terror while more than 150,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs in the military, public and private sectors.