the 22nd of July, the cell opened and the guard told me
that I was going "home". I had the time to
put two or three notebooks into a plastic bag and follow him down
the stone corridor. At the exit, two policemen in plainclothes
awaited with their car and during the voyage to the airport refused
to answer a single question I asked. All of my protestations
fell on deaf ears. I was embarked by force onto the jet bound
for Turkey with my handcuffs removed at the last minute before
take-off. A file destined for Turkish authorities was given to
the flight officer . It
was the second day of Ramadan, the most important religious holiday
for Moslems, the equivalent of Christmas. It was the first time
I'd ever taken an airplane.
The terminal at Istanbul was filled with people
coming home from foreign lands to see their loved ones. Everyone
was waiting for someone, even the authorities had the holiday
on their mind and made passage through customs easier than usual,
even in my difficult case. I arrived alone in the midst of this
enormous crowd with no one to greet me, without a penny in my
pocket, with no presents to give, the totality of my possessions
being a plastic bag with a few notebooks inside. After having
received the file from the flight officer, the Turkish authorities
questioned me in a facility in the airport, sent faxes all over,
to the Austrian consulate, to Tatvan, to Hirit, the government
Either my case didn't seem important
or they were in a hurry to spend the holidays with their families,
in any case they let me go in no time. I called my wife to tell
her where I was.
I think at that moment I would have
preferred to return home in a casket. It was the most humiliating
and desperate moment in my life. On top of the awkwardness of
it all, my total disorientation and despair, my wife dryly informed
me of my father's death !. The telegramme sent by Murat was meant
to spare my emotions. My father probably died as Hausner quibbled
over the 10,000. shillings!
exhaustive efforts, I was unable to contact Robert.
Once he'd gotten out of prison, I hadn't heard a word from
him. Friends had confirmed the fact that he'd gathered together
all the pictures that were spread around Vienna and my personal
belongings, including my passport. If I didn't succeed in
finding him, years of work would disappear forever!.