Exiled journalist’s wife says she is being held hostage in Turkey

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Dilek Türker Dündar, the wife of exiled Turkish journalist Can Dündar, complained about the human rights violations she has faced in Turkey since her husband fled the country and said she is being held hostage in a video she released on Monday.

Dilek Dündar said that despite lack of any investigations into her, due to cases against her husband her passport has been revoked and she has been prohibited from leaving Turkey since 2016. She said the police told her that her travel abroad was a threat to national security and asked how that could be the case.

Dilek Dündar also mentioned an attempt to kill her husband and asked why the gunman was released without any punishment and was able to keep his passport.

“I’m being held hostage to pressure my husband,” she said in a self-made video, adding that she was not even able to attend her son’s graduation abroad.

In addition, Dilek Dündar noted that because the regime had frozen their assets, she is not able to sell their summer home to pay the mortgage for their primary residence.

Can Dündar, a former editor of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, was sentenced in 2016 to five years for publishing a video showing Turkey’s intelligence agency trucking weapons into Syria. He was released pending appeal and fled abroad.

Turkey remains the world’s largest jailer of professional  journalists according to a 2018 report by Reporters without Borders.

Many journalists have faced the freezing of their assets as a form of punishment, while some have witnessed the persecution of their family members in their absence.

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