Tajik father tracks down militant son in Turkey

Staff Report

DUSHANBE -- A Dushanbe man who found his radicalised son in Turkey after two months of searching and prevented him from going to Syria is saying he would rather see his son in prison than in Syria, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)'s Tajik service reported June 11.

Amiriddin Vatanov, whose story could not be independently confirmed, said that he learned in late March that his migrant-labourer son had become radicalised and was planning to go to Syria via Turkey to join the militancy.

After his son Furkat refused to answer his Viber messages and after Turkish police proved unhelpful, the elder Vatanov went to Istanbul in early May to look for his son. He found Furkat in a neighbourhood full of ethnic Tajiks and turned him over to Turkish police.

Amiriddin Vatanov brought his son back to Tajikistan, where Furkat could be prosecuted for planning to fight in a foreign war. However, Amiriddin Vatanov would prefer to see Furkat in a Tajik prison than dead in Syria, the father said, adding, "The most important thing is that my son didn't perish on the wrong path. Even if he's convicted, I won't complain."

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