The enforced disappearances became a systematic state practice after the September 12th 1980 military coup, applied by the hands of paramilitary forces.
Continuous campaigns and demonstrations were organised in the search for missing persons and victims of enforced disappearances since the 1990s.
The first sit-in protest was held by the Saturday Mothers on May 27, 1995, at Galatasaray Square, in Istanbul.
The Saturday Mothers, who have been seeking justice for 26 years, continued their protests in front of the Human Rights Association Istanbul Branch building. They gathered every week, despite the police intervention.
Saturday Mothers, who have not been able to meet in Galatasaray Square for 142 weeks, carry out their actions online during the pandemic.
Sultan Taşkay, wife of Hüseyin Taşkaya who was killed in detention and Beritan Aksoy, daughter of Edip Aksoy who went missing since he was unofficially detained in 1990s, have been among those Saturday people, who have been seeking for justice for their dissappeared family members alongside with the Saturday Mothers.
Sultan Taşkaya has been continuing her legal attempts with the Human Rights Association to learn the fate of her husband . She stressed that they were forced to migrate from Urfa (Riha), a southeastern city to Istanbul as a result of the never-ending harassment and threats they have been subjected to.
”In our long years of protesting with Saturday Mothers, we suffered a lot from the pressure. We were banned from going to Galatasaray Square, but this is our cause, our struggle and we will fight until the killers are brought to justice. Even if we die, our children and grandchildren will continue to seek justice,” she said.
Aksoy stated that her father Edip Aksoy was missing since the day he was put in a “white Toros” car in Diyarbakır (Amed) in 1995 and driven to an unknown fate.
For Turkey’s Kurds,‘white toros’ symbolised the sudden disappearance of thousands of people by members of the dreadful gendarmerie intelligence, known as JITEM,
”While my father and his friend Osman Cingöz went to visit Esma Ocak in Diyarbakır in 1995, they sat in the cafe. A white Toros car came and the men inside asked for their ID cards. Then, they said ‘you will come with us’. They put them in the car, after that day, nobody knows what happened to them,” Aksoy said.
At the time Beritan was a new born baby and has never seen her father. After she grew up, she met with Saturday Mothers and she continues seeking justice for her father.
“One cannot explain it with words. Even if I poured out my heart and explained everything, yet so inadequate all the words would remain. Would I have feel more pain or would the pain still be the same if I have ever seen him?” she asked.
“I will never find the answer to this question. All I ask for is the bones of my father.”