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Wife of exiled Turkish journalist reunites with family despite being denied passport

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Dilek Dündar, the spouse of journalist Can Dündar, who lives in exile in Germany, announced on Friday that she has finally been able to rejoin her family abroad despite being held in Turkey under an arbitrary travel ban.

She revealed her departure from Turkey on Twitter, with a picture of herself with her husband Can Dündar and her son Ege, apparently in a European city.

“For three years, I have been denied a passport and prevented from travelling abroad despite not being investigated,” she tweeted. “I have used all legal remedies, but no avail. The Constitutional Court did not look into my case for two years.”

A few years ago, her husband was briefly arrested due to reporting he did on trucks allegedly carrying weapons on behalf of the Turkish intelligence agency to militant groups in Syria. He ultimately had to flee Turkey and settle in Germany.

“I finally exercised my right to motherhood and rejoined my family,” she said, an apparent hint that she used illicit means to leave the country.

She added that she had paid the “price for trusting the law” by remaining separated from her family.

Travel bans are a widely used practice by Turkey’s government against journalists who face prosecution over their publications or anyone who stands trial for their posts on social media.

It was also applied to nearly 150,000 former civil servants who were dismissed by emergency decree laws after a failed coup attempt in 2016, regardless of whether or not they were properly investigated via due process.

Thousands of politically prosecuted people have fled the country illegally, mostly by crossing the river border with Greece or by sailing to Greek islands off the coast of Turkey. A number of them have died in the attempt.

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