A TURKISH teacher and his family who were abducted in Pakistan last month have been deported from the country in defiance of a court ruling, a source and a lawyer said on Monday (16).
Kacmaz Mesut, his wife and two young daughters were picked up in September by plain-clothed officers, blindfolded and bound before being loaded into trucks and taken away, eyewitnesses said.
Lawyers petitioned the courts on behalf of the missing as fears they were targeted for allegedly having ties to an exiled preacher Ankara blames for last year’s coup attempt.
Kacmaz Mesut, was a former director of PakTurk International Schools and Colleges, private schools popular in Pakistan allegedly backed by US-based Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen’s Hizmet group.
Ankara accuses Gulen of masterminding a coup attempt against Erdogan’s government in 2016 – an allegation the cleric strongly denies – and is seeking his extradition from the US.
Pakistani officials refused to comment in the wake of the family’s disappearance.
But a friend of the family who spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday (16) – as he feared for his own security – said Turkish police had flown to Pakistan to take custody of them.
“Kacmaz Mesut, his wife and two young daughters were handed over to Turkish police at Islamabad airport on Friday night,” he said.
“I spoke on phone with Kacmaz Mesut’s daughters who confirmed that they have reached Istanbul, but their parents were still in custody while they have been handed over to relatives,” he added.
The daughters, aged 14 and 10, also said that Turkish police manhandled their father during the flight, he added.
Usama Malik, a lawyer for the family, confirmed the deportation had gone ahead.