Tülay Kaya, whose two children were kidnapped and taken to Iraq three years ago by her husband İrfan Küpecik, a member of the terrorist group Daesh, has appealed to the Turkish authorities to secure the release of her son and daughter held in Iraqi prisons.
Kaya divorced Küpecik before the Turkish national joined the terrorist group. A Turkish court gave the custody of their two children to the mother, but her husband took them for "a trip outside the city" in 2016. In reality, he crossed into Iraq where he joined Daesh in the town of Talafar. Küpecik was killed when Iraqi forces liberated the town from Daesh in August 2017. His son Anıl, 17, and his daugher Sahra, 14, were detained. Anıl is now in a prison in northern Iraq's Arbil, while Sahra is in a Baghdad prison, Kaya, who spoke to Vatan newspaper, says. She said her husband used to allow their children to talk to her on the phone when the three were in Iraq, and she only learned that they were in prison after the liberation of Talafar. Kaya visited her son in Arbil. "He is not well mentally. He was crying. He told me to save him from the prison," Kaya said.
She appealed to the Turkish authorities to secure the release of her two children, claiming there was no evidence incriminating Anıl and Sahra in crimes committed by Daesh.
Daesh emerged in Iraq and Syria and drew its power from foreign fighters, including Turks. Some militants took their young children with them to Daesh-controlled areas in Syria and Iraq. Data published by Vatan newspaper shows that 139 women and children from Turkey are in prisons in the semi-autonomous region of northern Iraq, while more than 900 Turkish women and children are being held in other cities controlled by the central Iraqi government for their links to the terrorist group. Some 27 Turkish women have already been sentenced to death for Daesh membership.