Abduction of Kacmaz family is the Pakistan branch of the political holocaust in Turkey. Like many victims of this `game of power`, their lives were devoured silently. A decade`s service to Pakistani community was overlooked. Moreover, `terrorist` label was found suitable for these innocent people. Today, it’s only that their memories are left with their students (including myself) which are loaded with love and wistfulness.
Let me introduce you to the Kacmaz Family. Firstly, Mesut and Meral Kacmaz were Turkish teachers employed in Pakturk schools. Pakturk, is the name of chains of schools, run by Turkish staff, operating all over Pakistan and it is regarded as one of the best schools in Pakistan. Kacmaz family had come to Pakistan before ten years and had been in this institution since then. Their two daughters, Huda and Huma Kacmaz were ordinary students in Pakturk schools.
Everything had started when the flares of catastrophic dictatorship in Turkey reached Pakistan. This first emerged as the arrival of the Turkish president to Pakistan and then he urged its authorities to deport Turkish teachers. Fortunately, the public were in favor of these Turkish teachers (employees and administrators of Pakturk schools in Pakistan); because they had witnessed that these teachers were people of candor. On the other hand, there hasn’t been any proof which showed that Pakturk staff was guilty.
The first attempt to deport Turkish families in Pakistan (In December 2016) was unsuccessful because court ordered to stop this illegal act and UNHCR gave these families asylum certificate which gave them the right to stay in Pakistan for at least a year. They could still reside in Pakistan; however, they were not allowed to run Pakturk schools anymore. All the Pakturk families had to wait for their luck to turn good until they could start working again. This gave their souls an indescribable agony as their only pursuit in coming to Pakistan was to contribute education.
I had personally witnessed how Meral Kacmaz had broken down in tears after she learned that she had to leave the school.
The chaos did not disappear suddenly after the court`s hearing. Almost everyone was drown in despair and thought that they had to leave Pakistan (before the hearing), so they all sold their belongings including their cars and furniture. After the court decision, they stayed but without job and any household equipment their life turned into full of melancholy.Then the Kacmaz Family with for member rented a house with only a room; Hudanur Kacmaz (my friend) used to describe to me how hard it was to fit in a room with four people.
Huda was a brilliant student, but still she was very troubled in the exam periods. Understandably, it was challenging for her to focus on her studies while she had a lot of things going through in her mind. She was feeling the burden in all part of her life, even going to the coaching centers had become painful because everyone used to ask her about their current situation; it hurt her sometimes because everything that they had gone through was unbelievably hard to explain. Obviously, Huma the youngest member of Kacmaz family had the same burden on her slender shoulder.
For them, almost half a year had passed in the state of confusion. Kacmaz family was trying their best to cling on to their new life, which was full of ambiguity about their future. There was no positive progress neither about their jobs nor renewal of their visas. Due to security reasons, they had shifted their home thrice in that nine month period.
Of course they went through financial difficulties and emotional instability, but they waited in Pakistan as they trusted UNHCR`s certificate. They stayed because they thought this showed their loyalty to their students, parents and other Pakistanis, due to their rigorous efforts in calling the government to take a just step about the order of deportation. On the other hand, Kacmaz family avoided leaving Pakistan to Turkey because they were afraid that they would be jailed as Turkish government considered Pakturk schools with `terrorism`. Huda’s and Huma`s education was also an another factor which prevented them from leaving, for Mr. and Mrs. Kacmaz did not want to hinder their studies.
On 27th September, whole family was abducted from their home in the middle of the night by 15 unknown civil people. They were put in the vehicle by force, blindfolded, a sack put over their heads and handcuffed.
From then on, there is no news about them. There have been non-violent protests and press conferences. Various governmental organizations and UNHCR have been called for help but there has been no concrete result yet. When I heard the news, I was wonderstruck. No, it must to be a joke, I said to myself. Because, the last night I had an online chat with her. I do not have any words to describe my agony, but I can only ask your empathy. Just imagine your closest friend disappearing suddenly, furthermore you do not even know if she is safe or she will be safe. And when you listen to the songs you listened together, look at the pictures together with her, and recall your memories then it hurts you deeply. Anyway, now no one knows how Kacmaz family is. My despair and agony forces me to ask if these people were worth the gratuitous maleficence. Couldn`t their children be kept apart from this abduction at least? Never mind, it`s silly to ask these questions to the unscrupulous doers.
Here are some links for those of you who would like to research more in debt about this abduction.