Fourteen people from the Saturday Mothers , a group of activists and relatives seeking the whereabouts of loved ones who disappeared while in police custody in Turkey in the 1990s, were briefly detained on Tuesday while making a press statement in Istanbul.
The group first gathered on May 27, 1995 in Galatasaray Square on İstanbul’s İstiklal Street and have continued meeting there every Saturday for a silent protest since then, staging the longest-running protest Turkey has ever witnessed.
The detentions were announced on the group’s Twitter account where it said they wanted to make a statement on the occasion of International Day of Enforced Disappearances in front a cemetery.
“We wanted to make a press statement in front of Altınşehir Cemetery for Orphans, but we faced a police line. At least 12 people were detained,” they tweeted.
#30AğustosUluslararasıZorlaKaybedilenlerGünü’nde, Altınşehir Kimsesizler Mezarlığı'nın önünde basın açıklaması yapmak istedik ancak polis ablukası ile karşı karşıya kaldık
En az 12 kişi gözaltındayız pic.twitter.com/Hz3P60ugsE
— Cumartesi Anneleri (@CmrtesiAnneleri) August 30, 2022
The detainees were released after police questioning.
The International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances was established by the UN General Assembly to draw attention individuals who have gone missing because of conflict, human rights abuses, migration or other causes as well as people who are imprisoned under the poor conditions unknown to their relatives.