Man abducted in Istanbul returns home after five days

A man abducted in plain sight in Istanbul returned home on Jan. 26 after being missing for five days. Gökhan Güneş was left in the Başakşehir district, where he was abducted, blindfolded at around 6 a.m. and found his home through his own efforts.

Gökhan Güneş is seen reunited with his family on Jan 26 after being abducted on Jan 20.

Duvar English

A man who had been missing for five days after being abducted in Istanbul's Başakşehir returned home on Jan. 26. 

Gökhan Güneş was abducted by a group of people in front of his workplace and was put into a car on Jan. 20. No official statement was made regarding his disappearance. 

He was left in the Başakşehir district blindfolded at around 6 a.m. on Jan. 26 and found his home through his own efforts, media reports said. 

"Gökhan, who was abducted by the state five days ago is now at home. Gökhan's family, friends and comrades took him from your dirty hands with their 5-day-long struggle," a Twitter account launched after Güneş's disappearance said on Jan. 26. 

"We will not allow you to make another person disappear," it said. 

Güneş's lawyers said that a detailed statement will be released shortly. 

His family had been calling on authorities to reveal his whereabouts, as forced disappearances continue to increase in Turkey. 

Forced disappearances that were frequent in Turkey in the 1990s started to be reported once again since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt and the subsequent crackdown launched on dissent by the government. 

"Where is my child? I only want them to return my child to me, I don't want anything else," Nazife Güneş, Gökhan Güneş's mother, said in front of the Çağlayan Courthouse on Jan. 25. 

According to Gökhan Güneş's sister Nurhayat Güneş, his brother was abducted by police officers and that police didn't look into footage obtained from a nearby security camera, which clearly showed the moment of his abduction. 

During a protest on Jan. 23, Güneş said that they will not allow authorities to lose her brother. 

"We'll be protesting in front of the Interior Ministry, Istanbul Governor's Office and Istanbul Police headquarters," she said, adding that an investigation was launched into those who shared the footage of the moment her brother was abducted. 

She was detained by police alongside 11 others, including other family members, during the protest on Jan. 23. 

On Jan. 25, Güneş's family launched a sit-in in front of the Çağlayan Courthouse with the demand to receive information on Gökhan Güneş's whereabouts. Members of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) also joined the sit-in.

"My daughters were detained for asking their brother's whereabouts. If this is a crime, then come kill us all, but reveal where my Gökhan is and do what you want then," Nazife Güneş said. 

During the protest, HDP deputy Musa Piroğlu said that the state should give Gökhan Güneş back. 

"He was abducted by individuals who knew that he would be there. For us, Gökhan is at the hands of the state," Piroğlu said. 

While authorities remain silent on the issue, HDP deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu submitted a parliamentary question with the demand to receive an answer from Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu. 

"Where the identities of the individuals seen in the footage determined? What is the ministry doing to find him?" Gergerlioğlu asked. 

"Is the Interior Ministry planning to make a statement on the claims of abduction, which is within the scope of a crime against humanity? Is it true that abductions have been ongoing because the ministry has been silent?" he also asked. 

Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a deputy of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), also said that he would bring Gökhan Güneş's abduction into parliament's agenda. He noted that the Interior Ministry has kept its silence in plenty of forced disappearance cases. 

"I will do whatever I can for Gökhan Güneş to be found," he said.