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November 15, 2018

Why did my government declare me terrorist-1?

I’m Fatma M.

I was working for one of the Hizmet Movement civic institutions which offers scholarships, housing, and social activities for people in need. Based on those activities, I was quickly labeled a terrorist.

Some people who learned I was associated with Hizmet movement sent violent death threats via my friends. They were saying,“Tell Fatma; if we see her again, we will cut her head off before we deliver her to the police.” I was so horrified that I was staying away from everyone. Finally, a neighbor reported me to the police.

My father had a heart attack after he was threatened by his old friends in his office because of me. I could only visit him secretly in order not to be caught.

I had to leave my family and my life in Turkey behind to seek refuge in another country. I was pregnant and expecting my first baby. We stayed in refugee camps under difficult conditions for months.

Currently, my baby needs a national identity card, but we cannot get it. There is an arrest warrant against me, therefore I cannot visit the Turkish Embassy. They do not issue IDs even for those who show up at the embassy.

My family members in Turkey have been under constant intimidation. Our house has been raided several times by the police who inquire about me. My brother was detained several times, because they could not find me. My brother’s business has almost come to a halt, since no one wants to do business with him anymore.

Many of my colleagues had to flee the country or they are in jail. Even babies have been jailed with their mothers. Had I been in Turkey right now, I would have been one of those mothers.

My crime is to be a manager in a dormitory!

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