Do you have $1? “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” ― George Washington

At the end, they arrested my wife, my father and my mother just because they found $1 and a high school diploma.

Everything has started right after the July 15 Coup Attempt in Turkey. We faced a cruel treatment like thousands of others who suffered from the wrath of the Turkish government after the July’s failed coup attempt. I was working for a construction company in Nigeria. Like every year, I traveled to Turkey with my family during the summer holiday. After the holiday, I flew back to Nigeria on July 21st. Then, my wife and kids were going to join me on September 1st. Right after I left Turkey, incomprehensibly, our close friends whom we know for 16 years, denounced my family as terrorists. We were accused of being members of a terrorist organization which they called Fethullah Terrorist Organization. Those whom we called close friends for years did this unintelligible and terrible act despite showing no evidence that we have involved in anything illegal. Strangely, they accused us of fleeing from the country even though we had our return-ticket to Nigeria before going to Turkey.

We had to stash all the books that relevant to the Hizmet movement regardless of being all legalized by government's institutions.

After the July 15th’s coup attempt police started to raid the houses of Hizmet supporters arbitrarily. We had to stash all the books that relevant to the Hizmet movement regardless of being all legalized by government's institutions. Simply, because we had the risk of being accused to endorse a terrorist organization just having an ordinary book on our bookshelf.

After I left Turkey, my house was raided around 10 police officers. They checked everything including my children’s suitcases to find out anything that they can use as an evidence.

What they found was only $1 and my elder son’s diploma who was graduated from a Hizmet School in Nigeria.

What they found was only $1 and my elder son’s diploma who was graduated from a Hizmet School in Nigeria. According to them anyone who has $1 in their pocket is a potential member of a terror organization which they named FETO. However, I worked in Nigeria and I was paid my salary on US dollars basis. At the end, they arrested my wife, my father and my mother just because they found $1 and a high school diploma.

She stayed in that cell for 3 days alone.

My father has a serious ear deficit and barely hears others, my mother is any good either, she has diabetes and they are both elderly people, to that reason they were released after a time being under the custody. Unfortunately, they transferred my wife to a different police station and placed her in a totally empty cell, with no bed, no sofa, no nothing but only a blanket. She stayed in that cell for 3 days alone. At the end of the third day she appeared in court, and she was judged only for having 1$ with her and also for helping students and taking part of charity organizations. More interestingly, one other reason was because my elder son was graduated from a Hizmet School in Nigeria. As a result of this nonsense accusations, my wife was imprisoned and then her unending 127 prison day.

Being together with these brilliant people was the best part of these gloomy days.

Right after being jailed, my wife was totally undressed and sent to a cell where she stayed alone for 3 days. Thereafter, she was sent to a cell which was full of innocent ladies who were the victim of relentless regime just like my wife. Being together with these brilliant people was the best part of these gloomy days.

The attorney was a deputy candidate from AKP(Justice and Development Party), worse than that, he was also a relative of those who denounced us.

After a time, Lawyer Bar appointed an attorney to defend my wife. Just like everything else this didn’t go right either. The attorney was a deputy candidate from AKP(Justice and Development Party), worse than that, he was also a relative of those who denounced us. As predicted he didn’t fulfill his responsibilities, in fact, he did nothing. For this reason, we started to look for a new attorney. However, we were told that we should not look for a private attorney since government does not allow private attorneys to be in touch with the clients. Moreover, the attorneys who accept to take such cases have a high risk of being jailed. Therefore, it was not that easy to hire a private attorney. At the end we found an attorney and he asked for 40 000 Turkish liras which was almost ten times more than the normal price. Despairingly, we had hired that lawyer and by his help, thanks to God, my wife was released after the second trial.

I was also so worried because my 5 years old girl had stopped talking to me, she blamed me to cause all these problems.

I started to feel terrified after having heard the news from social media that so many of those who released were arrested again. I was also so worried because my 5 years old girl had stopped talking to me, she blamed me to cause all these problems. My 18 years old son had to carry all the burden, he had followed the judicial process of his mother and everything. On the other hand, his university dream was shatter. My 17 years old girl was depressed and were crying every single day and night. My 10 years old son were trying to hide his tears and were crying during the nights under his blanket. Surely, those days were our tough days. I couldn’t take the risk of getting back to those sorrowful days. Well, I needed to make the hardest decision of my life; “to flee my family out of Turkey”. Sounded so scary but not to get back to those gloomy days, I made my mind. I was going to flee them. It was not easy to convince my family, but I did it.

For me nothing was going on a usual way. I was having the strangest times of my life.

For me nothing was going on a usual way. I was having the strangest times of my life. I got in contact with the human traders and dealt with them for 20000 € to escape my family out of Turkey. At a midnight, my family’s strangest and hardest journey started. They walked 10 km through a forest from Turkey to Greece. Finally, they completed their journey safely and thanks to God, I met my whole family. Later on, we went to Athens. At the airport, we got in contact with the Greece Police and they were really helpful and indulgent to us. They sent us off from control point and we completed another part of our journey. At the end, we made it. Thanks to God, we were in Nigeria again.

When we arrived Nigeria, I thought that we could continue our life as it used to be.

When we arrived Nigeria, I thought that we could continue our life as it used to be. But things got complicated again. My company in Nigeria was uncomfortable with my situation and they fired me. That was another shock of my life. It was time for a new plan, because it is very hard to live as a white person if you do not have your economic freedom in Nigeria. In addition, I also spent so much money during that time. Moreover, we were afraid because my family fled from Turkey illegally. Well, a lot of more things.

Without my family, the whole world was smaller than this room.

As a result of all of these, we decided to seek asylum and came to Norway. First, we had been in a center with tents for four days and then we were sent to an asylum camp. Now, six of us a big family stays in a small room. But we do not think that it is a problem, what matter is that we are together. Without my family, the whole world was smaller than this room. I wish, I hope and I pray to God that all the innocent people would come together with their family and they find their freedom as soon as possible.

Credits:

Created with images by ClassicallyPrinted - "money dollar bill paper one dollar currency" • jronaldlee - "Book burning" • Unsplash - "concertina wire fence concertina barbed security prison" • DeeAshley - "Saved Photos-4721" • NatalieMaynor - "Nobel Peace Center"

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