Almost every member of the Gulen movement, who had been exposed to a witch-hunt around the world by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has a different dramatic story. Almost every family has tragedies that could be a movie or a novel.Ismail Eyupoglu, who couldn’t cope with his wife’s loss, died in Afghanistan as a result of his sadness. After their mother died, two sad children lost their father.
Stockholm Center for Freedom, a Swedish human rights group, brought up the tragic deaths of Ismail Eyupoglu and his wife, Habibe Eyupoglu (SCF). Ismail Eyupoglu (42), who lived abroad for 25 years, lost his wife early on February 3. He was straddled between the idea of going back to Turkey with his children and bid farewell to his wife for 18 years in her last journey and, on the other hand, the fear of being arrested at the airport and saddening his two children. Meanwhile, the Turkish consulate in Kabul confiscated his passport and gave him a one-time travel document. So he and his children decided not to go to Turkey at the last moment. His children said that “Father if they put you in jail, what would we do without a father and a mother? So don’t go, and we will stay here with you, too.” He waved to his wife, and his children waved to their mother goodbye for the last time after putting her coffin on the plane.
Immigration to Tatarstan
The Eyupoglu family’s story, like those of thousands of other education volunteers, continued their Hizmet (Service-Gulenism ideology) journey in Central Asia with the goal of educating the young generations of the nations that newly became independent. In 1993, Ordu Unye resident Ismail Eyupoglu opted to study at a university in Tatarstan, Russian Federation. He went to a state university to study Teaching English Language. He also worked as a supervisor at a student dormitory, allegedly related to Hizmet Movement, at the same time. Mr Eyupoglu graduated in 1999 and returned to Turkey; however, The Council of Higher Education (YOK) rejected his equivalency. He married Miss Habibe of Ordu Unye in the same year.
He returned to Tatarstan and opened a restaurant after the decision of The Council of Higher Education (YOK). He did a great job till 2010, and he made money. His son Selman and daughter Zehra were born in 2001 and 2005, respectively. He was also active in humanitarian and educational activities relating to the Hizmet Movement. However, the pressure campaign launched against the Hizmet Movement in 2010 in Tatarstan impacted his business. As a result, his restaurant was shut down, and he was told he needed to leave the country. Leaving his wife and children in Turkey, Eyupoglu flew to Dubai alone and launched a restaurant there. However, he could not have a consensus with his business partner in many areas and chose to return to Turkey as soon as possible. From 2011 until 2012, he worked for a private corporation in Turkey.
UNDER UNKNOWN CONDITIONS…
He accepted the company’s offer that he was working to work in the company’s Kabul branch at the end of 2017. They arrived in Kabul as a family, and after two weeks while sleeping in their new home, early morning on Saturday at 03; 30, Habibe Eyupoglu (41) woke up with pain and chest tightness and said: “Could you call an ambulance?”. Mr Eyupoglu could not reach anybody in the night-time in Afghanistan conditions, where he had just arrived. However, there was a German hospital near their home. He asked his wife if she could walk up there. His wife said she could.
But the hospital was closed. He asked around and learned that there was another hospital nearby. According to the video recording of the CCTVs, at 04:06, as soon as they went through the hospital door, Mrs Eyupoglu called out” Ismail!” and she collapsed. She hit her head on the door. They waited for a stretcher, but it did not come for some minutes, and Ismail Eyupoglu carried his wife in. Unfortunately, his wife passed away after a short time.
His 16-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter were sleeping at home. Ismail Eyupoglu came home without knowing what to do. He could not say anything to her kids.
MISTREATMENT AT TURKISH EMBASSY IN KABUL
He called his wife’s family in Turkey. They wanted their daughter’s funeral to be brought to Ordu city in Turkey as soon as possible. Mr Eyuboglu explained the matter to the Turkish embassy officers, and in order to transfer the funeral, some paperwork had to be prepared. He later would state the following: “I was aware that Turkish embassies were refusing to handle the paperwork of Gulen Movement members, which was against the Turkish legislation. There was, however, a funeral that needed to be transported to Turkey. I also assumed they wouldn’t have my name on their list because I was new in Kabul. So I went to the Turkish Embassy and elaborated on what was going on. I’d heard that consulates in numerous countries seized Hizmet Movement members` passports. So as a result, I provided a photocopy of my passport to the embassy official while giving my wife’s original passport.
Meanwhile, Mr Eyuboglu was torn between two options. Because a slanderer vilified him, he had not travelled to Turkey since 2015. Although he wanted to attend his wife’s funeral in Turkey, Mr Eyuboglu was extraordinarily nervous, and later, he decided to go to Turkey to bury his wife. “A precaution has been marked in the system for your passport due to the State of Emergency conditions in Turkey,” the embassy officials in Kabul stated and added: “Your passport must be given to us. First, we’ll issue a one-time travel document to you, and you’ll go by using that document. After that, you will go to the police station or the district governor’s office in Turkey to check whether you are under investigation. After that, we will ship your passport to your Turkey address from here if there are no impediments”. Following that, Ismail Eyupoglu handed over his passport to the authorities in the Turkish Embassy, Kabul.
Eyupoglu, on the other hand, took his wife to a morgue because the hospital his wife passed away did not have one. The Turkish Embassy in Kabul could not prepare the transfer documentation on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. (Everyone knows that favouritism towards friends and family in Turkey and Turkish embassies abroad is widely frequent. For example, it is commonly known that the Turkish Foreign Ministry appointed a driver in 2014, who used to work in a ministry in Turkey, and also who was ignorant and didn’t speak English, to the Turkish Embassy in Bangladesh’s a department that issued documents such as passports or Turkish IDs to the Turkish citizens in Bangladesh.)
He couldn’t tell his children.
Eyupoglu could not tell his children that their mothers had passed away. But, he thought, “When we are at the airport in Turkey, I can tell them along with my family.” But, while talking to the SCF, he said, “I could not say anything. It was too difficult for me. I was unable to take this responsibility alone with that psychology.”
But on Monday, he heard that he would be detained at the airport if he went to Turkey. He gave up going. In this case, he thought it was necessary to give that sad news to his children. He needed help from his friends from the Gulen movement in Kabul. They all went home together. Children could not understand why so many people were gathered. They asked, “Why is everyone sad?” When their father gave the tragic news to Selim and Zehra, they started to cry out. Ismail Eyupoglu said, “At that moment, I was helpless for which one to hug. I hugged my Selman and my Zehra one by one and cried together.”
And then it was time to take another critical decision. He told his children that “Together, we can bury your mother in Turkey. But I want you to know that I have the possibility of being detained at the airport and arrested.” On top of that, both his son and daughter said that “Dad, then let’s not go to Turkey. If we lose you after our mother, what do we do?”
Then they went and saw their mother’s funeral. They hugged their non-living mothers and said goodbye to her. Documents were completed on Tuesday. Ismail Eyupoglu noted that “I procured the documents I needed from the Afghan authorities within an hour. But on Saturday, when my wife passed away, I found out that a Turkish citizen, who helped me collect the documents, denounced me as a “Gulenist.” I think that influenced the preparation of the documents at the Turkish Embassy in four days.”
As a result, Habibe Eyupoglu’s funeral was sent from Kabul to Turkey on Tuesday evening. Two children with tears and a painful father were left behind.
ACCUSATION OF KILLING HIS WIFE
What transpired after that reflects a different reality in Turkey. Late Mrs Eyupoglu’s parents and siblings in Turkey turned against the Hizmet Movement. There was a cut on Habibe’s head after she fell and struck her head on the door, and this bleeding continued on the way till she reached Turkey. When his sister observed that the shroud was smeared in blood after opening the coffin at Unye, Ordu, she phoned Mr Eyupoglu and shouted out, “Murderer!!! You killed my sister!”. Selman, the son, stated after taking the phone: “You are doing an injustice, aunt, to my father. I knew how it had happened. You’d never look at my father’s face again.” Nermin Aunt, on the other hand, who was already furious with Mr Eyupoglu for his connection with Gulen Movement, levels severe charges against both her nephew Selman and Mr Eyupoglu. On Wednesday, February 7, Mrs Eyupoglu was buried. In Kabul, however, Mr Eyupoglu had to defend himself from his wife’s relatives; thus, he provided them with the surveillance footage from the hospital. Mrs Eyupoglu was plainly seen falling and collapsing at the entrance.
Mr Eyupoglu, like his wife, died in a foreign country after a period of sadness and the effects of his enduring.
Oguzhan Ertugrul was the Turkish ambassador in Kabul when Mrs Eyuboglu passed away. However, he turned a blind eye to the embassy employees who did not do their duty when difficulties created to Mr Eyuboglu. By doing so, Mr Ertugrul was the Turkish ambassador in Kabul who did not do his duty for a Turkish citizen, which was a violation of Turkish law on Turkish soil (Embassies are considered as their countries` soil)
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