Three members of the Şenyaşar family, Hacı Esvet Şenyaşar, and two of their sons, Adil and Celal, died in an armed attack by the bodyguards and relatives of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP for Urfa (Riha) Ibrahim Halil Yıldız, during Yıldız’s election campaign in 2018.
The mother Emine Şenyaşar and her son Ferit have been continuing a vigil for justice outside the Urfa Courthouse for 317 days, demanding justice for their family members.
Today, 19 January, Ferit Senyaşar came to the courthouse despite the cold weather and a snow-storm. His mother Emine was not present because of her state of health but as the family is dedicated to continuing their vigil, Ferit travelled from Suruç district 40 kms away to demand justice.
He wrote ‘Day 317’ in the snow on concrete blocks outside the court house, but the police intervened.
“Writing on public walls is forbidden” they said, and the writing on the blocks was later removed.
Ferit Senyaşar issued a statement from outside the courthouse as follows::
“I wrote ‘Day 317’ here in the snow. The Suruç-Urfa road was closed today, because of the snow and my mother did not come to the vigil because of health problems. I took my life in my hands and came here from Suruç, despite the snow-storm.”
“We have stated before that we will not leave this courthouse until justice is achieved, regardless of the conditions. The truth will be served, and only after that will we return home.”
The Şenyaşar Case
The Şenyaşar family have been demanding justice outside the courthouse for months, and they have even been faced with police violence and detained numerous times for protesting there.
The prosecution drew up an indictment regarding the murder of Hacı Esvet Şenyaşar, and two of his sons, Adil and Celal, 18 months after the event, but the indictment did not address developments at the hospital where the main attack on the Şenyaşar family had taken place. There is no reference included in the indictment as to what happened to Hacı Esvet Senyaşar, who entered the hospital alive and healthy, but who came out dead with his head bashed in. To date neither the lawyers nor the family have been informed about what happened in the hospital, because a secrecy order has been placed on the file.
Another member of the Şenyaşar, family, who was present at the scene, Fadıl Şenyaşar, has been sentenced to 37 years and 9 months in prison for his actions on that day, despite being reported to have acted in self-defence. The brother of Ibrahim Halil Yıldız, the AKP MP, was sentenced to 18 years for his involvement in the same incident, having been caught red-handed on video, but none of the bodyguards or other relatives have faced charges for killing members of the Şenyaşar family.