Following a recent coup attempt, more than 100,000 people were arrested and dismissed from their jobs in the Republic of Turkey. Turkey is also the world’s largest jailer of journalists; 300+ are now behind bars. Our guest is an expert on these and related matters — Vonya Womack
Eight Turkish citizens whose passports were revoked by the Turkish government travelled to Canada on August 11 just after Canada decided to grant asylum. An officer from United Nations also escorted the group for the safe exit from Mongolia and security during the journey.
Asylum seekers are still fleeing Turkey for Canada and other western countries, Kaplan said. “There’s at least 14 families (in my neighbourhood in Ottawa). I mean ladies (with kids). All their husbands have been arrested (in Turkey,)” he said. The women are not comfortable speaking out publicly for fear it could imperil their husbands behind bars in Turkey, he added.
The Justice Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina has put an end to Turkey’s persistent efforts to have a journalist living exile extradited to Turkey on trumped-up terrorism charges, setting a strong precedent for other Turkish citizens resident in Bosnia who are being harassed and threatened with prosecution in Turkey.
No individual’s pain is to be underestimated. Thousands of families are being forced to leave their homeland by violence, terror, or fear of political prosecution. I would like to particularly talk about people of Turkey, who has been forced to leave their country since the Turkish Government ordered a massive witch hunt on members of the Hizmet (Gulen) movement after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
A group of Brazilian intellectuals and artists wrote a public letter defending the Turkish naturalized Brazilian Ali Sipahi, who has been imprisoned since the Turkish government, led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, requested to extradite him.
Gulenist businessman Nevi Gozur says he has been denounced as a terrorist for the charity work his family does with Hizmet in exile. “They say even my wife is a terrorist, for giving food to the poor, but we won’t renounce living according to our values,” he said.
About 50 percent of all people leaving Turkey because they feel politically persecuted seek shelter in Germany. In 2018, there were more than 10,000 asylum applications from Turks in Germany. About two-fifths of applicants were issued some form of protection.