Every year, the second Sunday of May is celebrated around the world as Mother’s Day. However, when mothers are mentioned in Turkey, what often comes to mind are the Saturday Mothers and the Peace Mothers, who lost their children to murder and conflict.
Emine Şenyaşar’s children and husband were killed in front of her eyes. For the last 61 days she has been on a vigil demanding justice for the murder of her family, despite police attacks and detainments.
Emine Şenyaşar’s husband, Hacı Esvet Şenyaşar, and two of their sons, Adil and Celal, died in an armed attack by the bodyguards and relatives of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Urfa deputy, İbrahim Halil Yıldız, in 2018.
Her son Fadıl Şenyaşar is under arrest and facing a 150-year sentence in prison, despite reportedly acting in self-defence. However, no one from Yıldız’s group has been brought to justice for killing members of the Şenyaşar family.
Emine Şenyaşar is determined to follow the case and has been on a vigil for 61 days demanding the punishment of the perpetrators. When asked about her feelings on Mother’s Day, she said, “They did not leave anyone to celebrate my Mother’s Day,” reports the Mesopotamia News Agency.
“I am always calling, ‘My dear Celal, my dear Adil, come and celebrate my day.’ They took them from me. If this massacre is covered up, I want those responsible to experience the pain we experienced. Let their hearts burn like mine.”