Court lifts travel ban on mother of cancer patient who will undergo treatment abroad

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Ahmet Burhan

The Mersin 7th High Criminal Court on Friday ruled to lift a travel ban on Zekiye Ataç, the mother of an 8-year-old cancer patient who will restart treatment in Germany.

The ban was first revoked by a prosecutor’s office on Monday following an intense, weeks-long social media campaign by human rights activists and well-known personalities, such as Zülfü Livaneli, a famous Turkish artist; however, another court overturned the decision a day later.

The latest development was announced by Natali Avazyan, an Armenian-Turkish rights activist who also raised funding for the treatment of Ahmet Burhan Ataç.

Zekiye Ataç’s husband has been in jail due to alleged ties to the Gülen movement, which is accused of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt, although it strongly denies any involvement.

On the pretext of an anti-coup fight, more than 130,000 people were removed from state jobs while in excess of 30,000 others are still in jail and some 600,000 people have been investigated on allegations of terrorism.

Zekiye Ataç is also a suspect in an ongoing investigation related to the Gülen movement.

Ahmet Burhan Ataç traveled to Germany on Jan. 20 without his mother; however, he missed her and returned Turkey a few days later. He has suffered from osteoid cancer for more than a year, which has now spread to his lungs.

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