4 people trying to escape persecution in Turkey missing after boat capsizes in Evros River

The news outlet identified the missing as 36-year-old Hatice Akçabay and her three sons, seven-year-old Ahmet Esat, five-year-old Mesut and one-year-old Aras.
The news outlet identified the missing as 36-year-old Hatice Akçabay and her three sons, seven-year-old Ahmet Esat, five-year-old Mesut and one-year-old Aras.


Date posted: July 20, 2018

A woman and her three children went missing after a boat carrying several Turkish asylum seekers who fled Turkey due to an ongoing government crackdown on followers of the Gülen movement capsized in the Evros River along the Turkey-Greece border on Wednesday night, Euronews Turkish reported.

The news outlet identified the missing as 36-year-old Hatice Akçabay and her three sons, seven-year-old Ahmet Esat, five-year-old Mesut and one-year-old Aras.

The children’s father, Murat Akçabay, and four other people on the boat were rescued. Greek officials told Euronews they are being kept at a police station on the Turkish border.

Rescue teams from Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) were reportedly working to save the woman and her three children on the Turkish part of the river.

News of the incident was first tweeted by Turkish journalist Cevheri Güven, who called on international organizations to take action to rescue the missing people.

“A boat carrying Turkish purge victims capsized on the Evros River in Greece, a mother and 3 children lost, one child was wearing a life vest, they all may be alive, rescue units must urgently be deployed to the area @UNHCRGreece @Refugees_Gr,” Güven tweeted early Thursday.

Writer Cemil Tokpınar claimed the same day that Greek border police had located the missing people on an islet in the river.

Murat Akçabay, who was in custody at the Isakio station in Dimetoka, told Turkish media outlet Bold TV what they experienced in the Evros River early Thursday morning. “We, nine refugees, got in a rubber dinghy. At last two human traffickers also got in. In total we were 11 people on the boat. I think we crashed into something like a rock in the middle of the river. The boat was pierced and we started to turn it around. Suddenly the boat overturned and we all fell into the water. The other family members held on to tree branches on the right bank of the river.”

“My wife and I left in the middle of the river while trying to hold our children. My wife was holding our little baby, and I tried to hold our two sons. Ahmet Esat , our 7-year-old son, was wearing life vest so he could swim. But my other son went under the water. At the time my wife went adrift and then held on to a branch. I shouted to her, ‘Don’t let go of the branch, I will rescue you.’ While I was trying to fight the waves, I saw she wasn’t in the same place. I repeatedly shouted, but I never heard her voice again.”

Turkish police also reportedly detained Yunus Akçabay, the uncle of the missing children, as he tried to locate his lost nephews and their mother. No accusations against him were made by police, who said he had helped them search for and rescue his nephews and sister-in-law.

Thousands of people have fled Turkey due to a massive witch-hunt launched by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government against sympathizers of the Gülen movement in the wake of a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. The government accuses the movement of masterminding the coup while the latter denies involvement.

More than 150,000 people have been detained and some 80,000 including academics, judges, doctors, teachers, lawyers, students, policemen and many from different backgrounds have been put in pre-trial detention since the failed putsch.

Many tried to flee Turkey via illegal means as the government cancelled the passports of thousands of people.

On Feb. 13, at least three people died and five others went missing after another boat carrying a group of eight capsized in the Evros River while seeking to escape the post-coup crackdown in Turkey.

 

Source: Stockholm Center for Freedom , July 19, 2018


Related News

Daily Trust Editorial: In Turkey, fresh affront on democracy

The AKP government, under emergency rule, has taken over hundreds companies, seized the assets of businessmen and shut down institutions linked to the movement. Despite the fact that Gülen denied the accusation and called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, President Erdoğan – calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” – and the Turkish government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement.

Gülen denies attempting to axe peace process

The lawyer of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has strongly denied claims made by the former chairman of the banned pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP) who alleged in a television interview Monday evening that Fethullah Gülen defames, slanders, and obstructs people who support the peace process

Irregularities mark so-called Cabinet decision on Kimse Yok Mu

After the recent controversial Cabinet decision to rescind the Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There) charity organization’s right to collect charitable donations, some irregularity claims have been raised by observers who say this decision was taken arbitrarily with no basis.

Gülen says many would like to be in detained journalists’ shoes

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has said he believes many people, including he himself, would like to be in the shoes of Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı and Samanyolu Broadcasting Group General Manager Hidayet Karaca, who were detained in a police operation on Sunday, implying that it is an honor for the journalists to be in custody under Turkey’s current circumstances.

81-year-old man sentenced to 10 years in jail over Gulen link

Mustafa Türk, an 81-year-old Turkish who has been under arrest over a year, was sentenced to 10 years in jail on charges of membership to a terrorist organization.

Enes Kanter: Anyone who speaks out against Erdogan is a target. That includes me.

The situation in Turkey has been very bad since a failed coup attempt in 2016. Erdogan unleashed a massive purge, firing more than 100,000 public-sector workers and imprisoning more than 50,000 people. These people are not criminals. They include judges, academics and journalists. Erdogan thinks free speech is dangerous, and he accuses critics of being terrorists.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Fethullah Gulen: Violence can not be a remedy for violence

TURKEY: Fethullah Gulen profile

Pak-Turk schools: Parents urge government against transferring administration to Erdogan-linked organization

NJ Legislature recognized Turkish-American organizations for accomplishments, contributions

Report: Gülen-linked media outlets sold to pro-gov’t media groups without tender

Thai students participating in Turkish Olympiads paid a visit to Thai Ambassador in Ankara

AK Party gov’t treats critical letters, columns as ‘treachery’

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News