AKP deputy says abducted Kurdish businessman Zeki Oguz was taken by the state
UMUT TASTAN- Kurdish businessman Zeki Oguz who resides in Germany visited Istanbul a few days prior. Oguz, who is among the owners of a restaurant in Taksim, disappeared in the Kemerburgaz quarter of Gokturk in Istanbul. Worried about his disappearance, his family notified the police who revealed that Oguz had been abducted.
Abdurrahman Karabulut, Oguz’s lawyer and relative, announced his kidnapping. Sharing footage of the moments of Oguz’s abduction on his social media account, Karabulut said, "German citizen Zeki Oguz, a Kurdish businessman, was kidnapped in Istanbul ten days ago. We still have not heard from Zeki Oguz, the son of my father-in-law's aunt. According to the information we have received, he is being held by deep state forces."
The footage shared by Karabulut shows Oguz being forced into a vehicle by three people as he leaves a store.
Human Rights Foundation (IHD) Co-Chair and lawyer Eren Keskin also inquired about the fate of Kurdish businessman Zeki Oguz in a post she shared on her Twitter account. Keskin said, “Zeki Oguz was kidnapped by the counter forces using a method we are familiar with from the 90s. The family is being manipulated.”
Lawyer Abdurrahman Karabulut spoke to Arti Gercek about Oguz’s abduction. He said that they were trying to obtain information through an AKP deputy.
Karabulut said, "We received the news that he had been kidnapped by some people 12-13 days ago.” Karabulut noted that he had started to investigate the incident at the request of Oguz’s family and had reached out to an AKP deputy on Friday, March 31. Karabulut said, “We wanted to know where he was. We asked the deputy to take action on this matter. He said that he was in the hands of the state, that he was alive, that the state only needed a few days, and that Oguz will be released.”
Noting that the AKP member did not divulge any information about why Oguz had been taken, Karabulut said, “[The deputy] has some theories. He wanted to share his guesses with me partially, but not entirely. He may have some concerns due to his position, but he clearly said that Oguz is in the hands of the state and that he is alive.”
Karabulut explained the process that should be followed:
“A person can be held by the state in two ways. They are either in the hands of the intelligence agencies, and such persons are not recorded in any way. Intelligence agencies cannot conduct investigations. Or else, the public prosecutor initiates an investigation in line with information obtained from the intelligence agencies and an arrest warrant is issued. After being captured, the process of being held in custody is carried out. During this process, the individual can meet with their lawyer as many times as they wish. The individual also makes their statement to the police after which they are either released or arrested. These are processes contingent on certain durations and procedures. At the very least, the person’s location, their situation, and the alleged crime is clearly known. It seems as if [Oguz] is not in police custody because that would have required an order from the prosecutor’s office.”
Karabulut further expressed: “In our opinion, which is also in line with what politicians are saying, Zeki Oguz is most definitely in the hands of the intelligence agencies.” Karabulut made an appeal to the relevant authorities, saying, “If a single hair on Zeki Oguz's head is hurt, they will have to account for this. And they will. We know very, very well that he is in the hands of the state, and we expect him to be released safely as soon as possible.”
Emphasizing that if Kurdish businessman Zeki Oguz is guilty of any crime, procedures within the constitutional framework should be used, Karabulut said that the fact that Oguz has not been found for days despite the camera footage is proof that the state is the one currently holding him.
“In the footage, nine people with their faces uncovered and covered are seen detaining and abducting Zeki Oguz, even though the license plate of their vehicle is visible. And in a place like Istanbul, there are thousands of security cameras. If the state wanted to, they would have resolved this kidnapping incident which occurred in broad daylight in a few hours.”
Karabulut stated that Oguz's abduction was not due to his commercial activities. Saying that Zeki Oguz is also a German citizen, Karabulut said, "The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also working on this.”
"The state has been caught red-handed," said Karabulut, adding, "Our current expectation is for Zeki Oguz to be released safe and unharmed, and for him to be reunited with his family." Karabulut reminded people of the abduction cases and enforced disappearances of the 1990s, and said that they were worried:
“Our fear is that we are all witnesses to the point Turkey has reached in 2023. A person was kidnapped in clear sight. I am speaking based on my experiences, the intelligence authorities have kidnapped many people. If intelligence agencies are able to make them talk after abduction, they get released. If not, they are either killed or forcibly disappeared. Being disappeared means death anyway. We are extremely worried for his life, and anxious that he will be tortured. We are worried that if it doesn’t suit the purposes of the intelligence authorities, he will be forcibly disappeared.”