We had already collected a number of testimonies concerning arbitrary controls on entry into Turkey by persons living abroad but originally from Turkey, whether binationals or not.
In his article in Turkish on November 10, Artı Gerçek, relates other testimonies that match up with ours.
European travellers, originally from Turkey, are subjected to illegal controls, especially in Istanbul’s two airports, Sabiha Gökçen and Atatürk.
They are sidelined in a dedicated space. Their electronic gear is confiscated. The passwords requested to verify the content of the equipment and to gain access to their various internet accounts, including social media.
Artı Gerçek illustrates his article with the testimony of a German national, originally from Turkey. This person speaks Kurdish and requested anonymity for security reasons. The person states that in entering Turkey at passport control, airport policemen took her into an isolated space that resembled a police station. She was questioned concerning her private life and subjected to an illegal control of the contents of her phone. While she was detained in this space, she was not the only person being controlled. She specifies that persons refusing to communicate the passwords for their equipment are subjected to inappropriate gestures, and verbal or physical threats.
The person also testifies that after her illegally confiscated phone was returned, she noticed that connections had been done without her consent on her various web accounts.
These practices became generalized following the declaration of the state of emergency on July 20 2016, following the aborted putsch, and repeated five times since. The last extension was done on October 17 for an additional three months.
The victims of these illegal practices then feeling threatened, hesitate to contact the media and do not file complaints. Yet, their testimonies are numerous.
State of emergency or not, these police practices are totally illegal as they stand.
We do not have sufficient evidence at Kedistan concerning the systematization and generalization of this practice. But it has increased and the publication of testimonials allows for furthering its denunciation.
Here is one we published as a short story in 2016 : Expulsion : “My Orient express by plane”
Français : Turquie • Contrôles ou violations de vie privée ? Cliquez pour lire