The Turkish government has banned the wife of former Editor-in-Chief of the Cumhuriyet daily Can Dündar from travelling abroad after seizing her passport at an İstanbul airport on Saturday.
Dilek Dündar told veteran columnist Hasan Cemal about the ban imposed on her by phone, and Cemal tweeted about the incident on Saturday morning. Can Dündar, who was imprisoned for months following his reporting on Turkey’s illegal shipment of arms to Syria, left Turkey shortly after his release from prison.
Following a foiled coup on July 15, the Turkish government cancelled nearly 50,000 passports including those of journalists, academics and businesspeople on the grounds that it is fighting against terrorism.
“The Interior Ministry shall cancel the passports of the spouses of people whose passports have been revoked,” says a decree dated Sept. 1. But cancellation date of my [wife’s passport] is Aug. 4,” Can Dündar said in a Twitter message.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had openly targeted Can Dündar after his reporting on arms bound for Syria and said he will not let Dündar go without paying a price for his reporting, which amounted to spying and treason according to pro-government circles.
Reaction mounted in social media over the travel ban for Dilek Dündar.
“The punishment of relatives is something the Nazis did,” said Prof. Dr. Gazi Çağlar in a Twitter message.
Underlining the point that Dilek Dündar was not allowed to travel abroad because her passport was registered as lost, journalist Fatih Yağmur said: “This is proof of official fraud because the passport was registered as lost without any application by Dilek Dündar.”
“Thousands of people’s passports have been registered as lost. This cannot be a state practice. You are mafia,” said Yağmur in his Twitter message.
Yağmur also claimed that Interpol is aware of the Turkish government’s passport fraud. “The passports are only invalid in Turkey,” he said.