‘Saturday Mothers’ gather for 695th time in İstanbul to demand justice for disappeared children

The “Saturday Mothers” gathered in Galatasaray Square in İstanbul for the 695th time over the weekend, demanding to know the fate of people who have disappeared and to demand justice.

This time the story of young journalist Ferhat Tepe, who was tortured to death after being taken into custody on July 28, 1993, was told during the meeting.

According to a report by the pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency (ANF), the meeting was also attended by Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a deputy of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), and Gülistan Kılıç Koçyiğit, from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Ferhat Tepe’s father İshak Tepe recalled that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the murder of his son. “My son disappeared at the hands of state institutions. We have reported all the responsible names to the relevant institutions,” he said, adding that justice still has not been served.

Ferhat Tepe’s mother Zübeyde Tepe also said: “For years we have been exposing those who condemn us to permanent sorrow. We want justice for our children. We want the killers to be found and tried. We want the bones of our children.”

Hüseyin Kalkan, friend of Ferhat Tepe who worked with him at the same newspaper, said, “Ferhat was the youngest reporter at our paper.”

On the evening of July 28, 1993, three plainclothes policemen abducted Ferhat Tepe in Bitlis city centre. Following the kidnapping, an unknown party called Ferhat’s father and demanded a ransom for his life. Ishak Tepe publicly exposed the threat to Tatvan 6th Armored Brigade Commander Gen. Korkmaz Tağma, who denied his son had been taken into custody.

Ferhat’s heavily tortured body was found 13 days later in the Elazığ Cemetery of the Nameless, where he was buried as an “unknown person.”

The Saturday Mothers recalled that the family of Ferhat Tepe, unable to find the truth through domestic laws, has applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

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