Woman’s passport seized in Turkey due to husband’s tweets

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Rahime Kılıç Baykal, a woman of Turkish origin who lives in Vienna, had her passport seized by Turkish authorities during a visit to Turkey this summer allegedly due to her husband’s tweets, the Evrensel daily reported on Monday.

Baykal’s passport was seized at İstanbul Atatürk Airport on Aug. 13 as she was about to travel her hometown of Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey. The woman came to Turkey from Vienna to see family members and was accompanied by her child, who is now 18 months old. Baykal is also expecting her second child and is now in the seventh month of her pregnancy.

The woman said she was told her passport had been seized due to her husband’s tweets on the grounds that he was disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization. It was not mentioned in the story with which terrorist organization Baykal’s husband was supposedly associated.

The woman said her husband does not have a Twitter account and is illiterate.

Baykal said she has been held hostage in Turkey for five months and cannot leave the country to return to her home in Vienna. The woman’s husband is in Vienna and is afraid of coming to Turkey to testify to prosecutors.

According to the report, Baykal’s husband is being investigated in Turkey on terrorism charges due to his tweets.

Since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, it has become a common practice in Turkey for the passports of the relatives of a coup or terrorism suspect to be seized by the authorities.

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