Nine Palestinians have gone missing in Turkey in the space of one month, the Tr724 news website reported on Monday, citing the Paltoday news website, which published the names of the missing Palestinians.
Mahmud Abu Navah, the brother of Abdel Rahman Abu Navah, one of the missing Palestinians, told Palestinian media that his brother went missing as he was about to meet with a real estate agent in Beylikdüzü, İstanbul.
Noting that his brother has been providing consultancy services on real estate in Turkey to Palestinians and people from other Arab countries for eight years, Abu Navah indicated that no information could be obtained about his whereabouts despite efforts by INTERPOL and the Palestinian Embassy in Ankara.
The first Palestinian to go missing was Muhammed Salhab, a student at a medical faculty in Konya who has not been heard from since Sept. 3. Salhab’s father Emad and brother Wajeeh had gone to Konya to search for him.
His friends told the Serbestiyet news website that eyewitnesses had observed a black minibus approach Salhab and push him inside the vehicle when he was on his way to Friday prayer.
The Palestinian Embassy in Ankara announced that some of the missing Palestinians –Alaeddin Abdul Latif, Muhammed Hamada, Abdul Rahman Abu Nawah, Nahed Saber Al Kafarna, Ahmed Al-Qishawi and Fatima Getawi — were living in İstanbul and that their families had been unable to contact them.
Palestinian authorities have floated the possibility that Israeli intelligence agency MOSSAD might be behind the disappearances.
Upon complaints by the parents of the Palestinians who went missing in İstanbul, the İstanbul Police Department’s Missing Persons Bureau has started to screen recordings from security cameras across the city.
Turkey’s consul general in Jerusalem, Ahmet Demirer, on Wednesday said Turkish authorities were doing all they could to locate the Palestinians who went missing in Turkey, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Demirer, who met in Ramallah with Ahmad al-Deek, a director at the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, to discuss the missing Palestinians, said what was definite was that they were not detained by Turkish authorities nor were they in hospitals or government facilities, stressing that Turkey would provide any information it obtained about the disappearances, WAFA said.
Al-Deek urged the Turkish authorities to do whatever they can to find out what happened to the missing Palestinians, most of whom disappeared while in Istanbul.
Palestine’s ambassador to Turkey, Fayed Mustafa, told Voice of Palestine that contacts are continuing with Turkish authorities on the missing Palestinians, expressing hope that there might be some information in the next few hours.
He said he was in contact with the Turkish president’s office and was going to meet with officials from the Ministry of Interior and the police to see what they have.
“There is no specific information yet about their fate,” he said, adding that the Turkish parties did not provide them with any information other than saying that they are continuing with their efforts in checking street cameras and gathering information about them.