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Turkish writer, son accused of fleeing after fatal car accident arrested in US: report

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US authorities on Friday arrested a Turkish author and her 16-year-old son wanted by Turkey on charges that he was involved in a fatal car crash in İstanbul and then fled the country with the help of his mother, Reuters reported, citing court papers.

Turkish novelist and poet Eylem Tok and her son, T.C, were arrested pursuant to an extradition request from Turkey as they were about to tour an expensive private school in Boston.

Their arrests were announced on X by Turkish Justice Minister Yılmaz Tunç, who said they were “captured in the United States in line with our extradition request.”

According to prosecutors, the teenager was driving a Porsche on the night of March 1 when, while speeding around a corner, he crashed into a group of people on all-terrain vehicles. One person, Oğuz Murat Aci, died and four others were injured.

The teenager called his mother and asked for help.

He was picked up by the family’s driver, and within three or four hours Tok had bought one-way plane tickets for herself and her son from İstanbul to Cairo, Egypt, according to court papers. Authorities said they continued on to the United States, landing in New York on March 2.

Turkish law enforcement had as of May believed they were in Miami and that they may have attempted to secure fraudulent passports to travel to Cuba, according to court papers.

Turkey is seeking the extradition of Tok’s son so he can be prosecuted for causing reckless killing and injury, while Tok, 44, is wanted on the charge of protecting an offender.

US Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell scheduled a Tuesday hearing at Boston’s John Joseph Moakley US Courthouse to consider whether to keep them detained pending their extradition after prosecutors in court papers argued the pair had the resources to flee given the chance.

They noted that Tok’s ex-husband, Bülent Cihantimur, is a well-known plastic surgeon and said that at the time of her arrest, Tok was carrying $5,000 in cash and that the mother and son were about to tour a private school where annual tuition costs $46,000.

Brendan Kelley, a lawyer for Tok, argued that she should be released, saying that under Turkish law her alleged offense carries no penalty if committed by a parent, potentially making it ineligible for extradition under a US-Turkey treaty.

“She’s being detained in custody for something that might not even be extraditable,” he said.

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