The Saturday Mothers, who have been fighting for 23 years to have the fate of relatives who disappeared while in the custody of security forces brought to light and the perpetrators punished, were attacked by Turkish police once again on Saturday.
Police battered relatives of the disappeared as well as deputies from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Peoples’ Party (HDP). Saturday Mothers Hanım Tosun and Hanife Yıldız were detained by police during the protest.
According to a report by the pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency (ANF), the Saturday Mothers, whose demonstrations have been banned by Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu since the 700th week of the demonstrations, were subjected to another police attack during the 704th protest.
The police surrounded Çukurluçesme Street where the Human Rights Association (İHD) building is located and prevented the crowd including HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan, HDP deputies and a Republican People’s Party (CHP) provincial chair from gathering. The relatives of the disappeared protested the arbitrary move and started marching towards Galatasaray Square, upon which they were attacked by the police.
The police reportedly surrounded the crowd, battering and pushing them back to the İHD building. Besna Tosun, the daughter of Fehmi Tosun, who disappeared in custody, protested the police and said: “We are being deprived of our constitutional right to release a press statement. Give us our graves, let justice reign, and we will stop coming here.”
The police attacked the crowd again after the statement and attempted to detain former Halkevleri Deputy Chairperson Samut Karabulut. Sezgin Tanrikulu, a deputy from Turkey’s main opposition CHP, and HDP co-chair Buldan protested Beyoğlu Police Chief İsmail Kılıç, who ordered the attack.