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Another family has gone missing in Evros River trying to escape from Erdogan’s persecution

In Turkey, thousands of families and tens of thousands of people had to leave their country soon after the failed coup attempt on July, 15, 2016. 151,967 people were dismissed from their jobs, 136,995 people were detained, 77,524 were arrested.

Children were definitely the most affected ones by this genocide, committed against the followers of Gulen Movement.

The members of Gulen Movement, who sat out from the coasts of the Aegean Sea and the Meric River with the hope of freedom, are still suffering for leaving their families behind as well as their goods and homes. These people, who served their country and made an effort for building a fair world order for years, have been nowadays fleeing from injustice and lawlessness and endeavoring to take refuge in other countries without even speaking their languages.

Yesterday, 36-year-old Hatice Akçabay and her three sons, seven-year-old Ahmet Esat, five-year-old Mesut and one-year-old Aras, went missing after boat capsizes in Evros River. She was trying to escape from Erdogan’s persecution.

5 people were rescued while going adrift, who were trying get into Greece illegally, during the night hours in the Evros River. It was stated that search efforts are ongoing for the three children and wife of Murat Akçabay, who is among the rescued ones. It was reported that 36 years old Hatice Akçabay and her 1 year old Bekir Aras found dead, while search and rescue operation are still ongoing for  7 years old Ahmet Esat, 5 years old Mesut.

It was also revealed that Akçabay’s brother was taken into custody in Turkey.

Greek authorities, who were reached out by Euronews, stated that the rescued ones are being held in a police station in the Turkish border. Akçabay, the father who was rescued alive from the boat, spoke with Euronews.

Murat Akçabay, who is being held in Isaakio police station in Didymoteicho, told what happened on the night in question to Euronews:

“We were 9 people in total who embarked the boat. Two traffickers were the last to embark. Thus we ended up being 11 people in the boat. I guess we had hit something like a rock in the middle of the river. The boat was punctured and we started to whirl around. The boat toppled over all of a sudden and we fell into the water. The other family managed to hold the branches in the right side of the river. Me and my wife ended up in the middle of the river while trying to hold the children. My wife was holding our little baby. I tried to hold our other two children. Ahmet Esat, who is 7 years old, was wearing a life jacket, so he was able to float but the other one submerged. And my wife drifted with the flow. I saw her holding the branch of a tree far ahead. I told her “Hatice, don’t let the branch go, I will come and save you!”. While I was fighting with the waves, I saw that she was no longer at the same place. I called her out and shouted but I couldn’t hear her again.”

On the other hand, AFAD (The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Turkey) is also carrying out search and rescue operations in the Turkish side of Evros River.

All human rights organizations in Greece should pay attention to the incident. A Turkish refugee mother and her three children are still lost in the Evros River. Turkish villagers said that they saw a child in Greece coast.

A need for a rescue team is immediate. Not just for river. Many believe that the children might be around the river since there are many abandoned buildings there.

HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) Kocaeli Deputy and human rights activist Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu shared the incident from his Twitter account. Gergerlioğlu called for public attention and stated: “A Turkish mother had gone adrift together with her three children in Evros River at around 01:00 after the boat they were on capsized. One of the children had a life jacket, so the search and rescue teams must step in immediately. They might be alive. Mrs. Hatice, her 4 month old baby Esat, Mesut, and Aras. May Allah protect them!”

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