Wife of Turkish journalist Yusuf Inan who was extradited from Ukraine to Turkey on July 15, says her husband was arrested and sent to Turkey illegally.
Inan was wanted in Turkey as a member of the opposition movement led by Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based preacher and opposition leader whom Ankara blames for the coup attempt in 2016.
Держава, яка не дає жити своєму народу, теж довго не житиме Государство, которое не дает жить своему народу, тоже долго жить не будет
A state that does not allow its people to live, too, will not live long
Two years ago, early in the morning, I shuddered at what had happened – Pavel Sheremet was undermined in the car. His murderers have not yet been found.
Sheremet, like any journalist, wanted to change the world for the better. The secret committee sent him to another world and is now preparing me a similar trap. Like Sheremet, I also wanted to make the world a better place. But could not. And now, probably, should be ready to go to another world. I am serene, because I still have the opportunity to write a will.
On July 17, the Ukrainian press published a list of oppositional Turkish nationals doomed to forcible export from Ukraine to Turkey, in which I too am present. The extradition of these people requires Erdogan. Ukrainian authorities did not react and did not comment on this information. It is on the black list and constantly receiving threats from the Turkish community in Ukraine – it is extremely unsettling and unsafe for me and my family.
It is on the black list and is constantly receiving threats from the Turkish community in Ukraine – it is extremely unsettling and unsafe for me and my family
Why did Erdogan become an enemy?
Working as a journalist and trying to communicate information objectively, the last five years, I constantly came across the pressure of Erdogan’s supporters, as I do not support him in achieving the dream of the “Caliphate” and “Sultanate” and do not promote his policy in my articles.
It all began in 2013 with a corruption scandal in Turkey, in which the top leadership was implicated. When Erdogan was still as prime minister. Then I began to receive the first threats. Shortly thereafter, the Turkish Embassy in Kyiv, which previously awarded me for its services, declared me a terrorist for articles in which I do not support Erdogan. Currently, the Turkish authorities are using every opportunity to blot out my reputation, both in Turkish and in Ukrainian society.
The Turkish authorities are using every opportunity to spoil my reputation, both in Turkish and in Ukrainian society
The Turkish Embassy does not issue any official certificates and documents to me or my family. They explain this by saying that the system does not work for us. Because of fear of arbitrary detention, spread in Turkey, I have not been to my homeland since 2015. Most of my relatives believe Erdogan’s false, unfounded and senseless accusations of terrorism and have broken their relationship with me.
I left Turkey at the age of 17. Never committed any offense in Turkey or Ukraine. I try not to violate the laws of God described in the Bible and the Koran, nor international laws. Now they want to deprive me of freedom and silence me. But for me it’s better to live without bread than to live without freedom! It’s better to die than to obey the cruel regime of Erdogan! I prefer to die a thousand times than apologize to Erdogan for the articles written! And judging by the threats that I receive from Turkish nationals in Ukraine, I do not have long.
Better to live without bread than to live without freedom! It’s better to die than to obey the cruel regime of Erdogan!
If I am killed in Ukraine, then I ask, do not do an autopsy. And so it will be known who did it. In no case, do not hand over my body to the Turkish state. Let the funeral prayer be held in the Ar-Rahma mosque. I want to be buried in a Muslim cemetery on Tatarka. I wish that it was written on my grave stone: “All people are brothers in this world, respect each other.”
Please do not call my street names, as in the case of Gongadze. Do not officially report my death to the Republic of Turkey, the state that sets me traps. States that do not give life to their people, too, do not live long.
Yunus Erdogdu, for Gazeta.ua
He was arrested and sent to Turkey just three days after another alleged member of Turkish opposition living in Ukraine, Imam Salih Zeki Yigit, was extradited to Turkey in the same abrupt fashion that suggested a violation of the regular extradition procedures.
While Ukrainian authorities don’t comment on the extraditions, Inan’s wife Kateryna Inan says those were the State Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) officers who arrested her husband.
Inan leads the news website opposition to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and favorable for Gulen.
Kateryna Inan told the Kyiv Post by phone that her husband had a residency permit in Ukraine which he got after they married in 2015. They lived in Mykolayiv, a city in southern Ukraine some 480 kilometers from Kyiv, where Inan was earning his living by breeding sheep at the farm near the city.
She said that on July 12, three SBU officers arrived at his farm, showed their IDs and said he was wanted in Izmir, his hometown in Turkey. Inan doesn’t speak Russian, so he couldn’t understand their demands and called his wife and the police.
Along with the police arrived another SBU car, where three masked SBU officers arrested Inan by force and “pushed him into the car like a dog,” the woman said.
On the next day, July 13, a court in Mykolayiv ruled for the extradition of Inan, who was then kept at a local pre-trial detention center. His lawyer started preparing an appeal and application for his asylum in Ukraine. The lawyer wanted to file an appeal on July 16, knowing the law allowed five days for that.
“But on Sunday (July 15) evening I found out from the Turkish media that my husband was already on the Turkish territory,” Inan’s wife said. “Prosecution keeps silence, SBU keeps silence. Nobody told us that he’s not here anymore, that he was brought away secretly.”
Spokespersons of SBU, Prosecutor General’s Office, State Migration Service and State Border Service told the Kyiv Post they had no information about the arrest of Inan, as well as about the arrest of Yigit, who lived in Odesa and was flown to Istanbul on July 12.
The Turkish embassy called the arrests and extraditions “a part of ongoing security cooperation between Turkey and Ukraine.”
Now Kateryna Inan is trying to get information about her husband through his elder son living in Turkey.
Yunus Erdogdu, a Turkish journalist working in Ukraine who is covering the arrest in his blog, said both arrests were abductions. He says he feels unsafe now in Ukraine.
The two arrests of Turkish residents are reminiscent to the abduction of Palestinian national Dirar Abu Sisi, who was captured by Israeli security services on a train in Ukraine in 2011. An eye-witness of the arrest told the Kyiv Post that one of two men who arrested Abu Sisi also showed the SBU ID. The SBU has never admitted being involved in that operation.