In a disturbing turn of events in Turkey, a couple, Hatice and Gürsel Karaca, were arrested on separate days, leaving their 7-year-old twin daughters, Zeynep Betül and Fatma Sena, along with their 9-year-old son, Ender, in a state of distress and uncertainty.
These arrests are part of the ongoing investigations into the Gülen Movement. Hatice Karaca, a homemaker, received a 6-year and 3-month prison sentence, while her husband, Gürsel Karaca, who had already served 4.5 years behind bars, found himself back in custody. The couple’s attempts to flee abroad, reportedly to escape pressure related to their affiliation with the Gülen Movement after the events of July 15, led them to a harrowing encounter with masked assailants wielding knives in Greece’s Orestiada region.
Despite a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Hatice and Gürsel Karaca were deported and subsequently detained by authorities in Edirne, only to be released under house arrest later. However, their freedom was short-lived, as they were arrested again, just two months after their initial release, and placed behind bars.
According to a family member, Gürsel Karaca was taken into police custody the day before his latest arrest, with officers informing him that he was considered a fugitive. Hatice Karaca, who was undergoing psychological treatment and had been under house arrest with an electronic ankle monitor, was also taken into custody and transferred to prison shortly after the Court of Cassation upheld her sentence.
This heart-wrenching situation has left their children grappling with the sudden absence of both parents. Ender, at just 9 years old, is now tasked with caring for his 7-year-old twin sisters in the absence of their mother and father. The burden has fallen on an elderly grandmother to provide support and guidance.
The children’s emotional state has understandably been greatly affected by these events. They cling to the memory of their mother, expressing their inability to cope with her absence. The traumatic experience in Greece, where they were threatened by a masked group, has left deep scars on their young minds. Even at night, they wake up in fear, questioning why these unfortunate circumstances have befallen them.
This unfortunate situation has not only separated a family but also cast a shadow of uncertainty and trauma over the lives of three innocent children. As they face an uncertain future, their home has transformed into a place of sorrow and grief.
The news article written by Orhan Kaya was first published in Bold Media and translated from Turkish into English.
Update: After this article was published, it was learned that Gursel Atmaca, father of the family, was released while the mother was arrested.