Tough trip for a safe country

The boat was not only little but also not durable enough for the sea.

Everything started in August of 2016 when the police raided my house as if was guilty. I was one of the thousands of civilians whose houses were raided by police after 15th of July’s Coup Scenario.

Fortunately, I and my family were not in the house when police raided. I heard about the raid from my apartment manager then I called my attorney right away. I asked him what am I supposed to do about it? Then he said that ‘’there is no any good treatment to anyone but especially for the people from Gulen movement due to the state of emergency. He said there is the high risk of being taken into custody up to 30 days, possibility of being tortured or even murdered if I surrender. Because all these bad treatments and unknown future he strongly suggested me not to go to police before state of emergency ends.’’

While my profession is Psychological Counselor, I was accused of attempting to a coup by furious government in Turkey. Unfortunately not just me but approximately 45 000 civilian people including teachers, housewives, pregnant women and elderly people over 80 years arrested ridiculously for attempting coup.

Erdogan and his supporters targeted because of their grudges against Gulen Movement and its sympathizers from the very first minutes of the coup attempt. And after this, thousands of Gulen movement members like myself were facing an unknown future. We didn’t know what awaited us, arrest-torture-death?

I have begun to worry about my family’s safety as well as mine. First thing that came to my mind was that fleeing to a European country could be the best choice, then I called one of my friends who live in Norway and asked his suggestion. After consulting him I decided that moving to Norway would be the wisest idea.

Thereupon, my family managed to fly Norway on September 1st. Then a miracle happened, our passports were cancelled by the government after the KHK (government decree) in 2nd of September. At least I was able to fly my family abroad to a safe country. But there was more more thing I needed to do; reuniting my family, and I had to find a way to go to Norway by taking all risks.

My journey started in 1st September and finished by arriving to Oslo in 17th September. I had really rough and tiring 16 days. In the first attempt to flee, I was fooled by human smugglers who I reached an agreement about going to Greece by Aegean Sea. I lost half of my savings that I earned at the end of 12 years of work.

I was left in a place somewhere near the sea. Human traders said that they will get back after taking gasoline for the boat but they never happened. I walked from 23.30 to 06.30 in the morning. 2 hours of my journey was swamp. As the sun rises, I realized all my clothes were in mud and immediately changed them. I kept walking and found a settlement. I was very tired and exhausted.

I was psychologically so depressed. Could not get out from country, getting fooled by traders, could not come together with my family. I would rather die instead of experiencing all of these. I was in a big shock. I called my friend in Ankara and he helped me to ease a bit. He told to get to Ankara as soon as possible. Then I took the first bus to there. Travelling on the bus was. Police may stop cars and buses to control every single person to check whether they are a member of so-called Terrorist Organization (FETO) or not.

After I arrived, I started to search for new ways since my wife and children were in Norway. I try to pass through Black Sea, went there and waited for a week but I could not achieve again.

Then I headed towards Aegean again. There were several days to end of my Schengen Visa. I arrived Aegean after 1800 kilometers of road journey. It took approximately 28 hours. New human traders I got in contact told me that they would transport me to Rhodes in 15th September. Unfortunately, I got used to be in touch with human traders. Together with them I left Turkey at evening time. There were 3 more runaways in this little boat other than me. The boat was not only little but also was not durable enough be on the sea. I was filled fear but had no other way to come together with my family. During that dangerous journey big waves hit us twice, but we survived. We arrived Rhodes at 23:30.

I was landed off in a mountain area. I was totally wet, luckily my passport was OK. I fell and injured during the night walk. I walked for 3 hours and found a settlement. I took a taxi to a hotel. After having a time to revive myself I flew to Oslo.

At the end we applied to asylum with my family. Now we are all waiting for an answer from UDI.

Our story is just an example to comprehend thousands of unlawful practices and psychological background of purged people in Turkey. I worked as a psychological consultant for many years. Now I am accused of ‘attempting’ a coup like thousands of people in Turkey. I can not imagine how badly we would be treated if returned to Turkey.

Up to now, in Turkey,  50 people died in prisons. Hundreds of them are in the prison and being tortured.

We would among those people who is being treated unlawfully and badly.

Now we feel lucky to be in a safe country.


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