Saturday Mothers activist to receive compensation for detention during protest

Aydın Aydoğan, a member of the Saturday Mothers activist group, has won a court case and will receive non-pecuniary damages from the state for being detained at one of the group’s protest vigils, the Kronos news website reported on Tuesday.

While Aydoğan had demanded TL 75,000 in damages, the İstanbul court hearing the case ruled for only TL 1,000 (approximately $30), according to the report.

Aydoğan said the case was symbolic but historically significant, while his lawyer, Hacer Çekic Gündüz, said the amount was too low.

“The point of the claim for damages is to ensure deterrence for public authorities,” she said. “They give you a thousand liras and send you home, and the next week there’s another detention.”

Members of the Saturday Mothers have been facing police obstruction and detentions at their weekly protest vigils, despite a Constitutional Court ruling in late 2022 finding law enforcement’s interventions to be in contravention of the right to peaceful gathering and demonstration.

Saturday Mothers are a group of activists seeking the fate of loved ones who disappeared in police custody in the 1980s and ’90s and demanding accountability for the disappearances.

The group has been holding weekly sit-ins at İstanbul’s historic Galatasaray Square since 1995 and has repeatedly faced state repression including police brutality and abusive prosecution.

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