Families and human rights advocates in Diyarbakır (Amed) and Batman (Êlih) in Turkey have called for information on the whereabouts of journalists Kemal Mübariz and Cüneyt Aydınlar, who vanished while in custody 30 years ago.
The Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakır Branch, along with relatives of the disappeared, held their 782nd sit-in at the Right to Life Monument in Bağlar (Rezan) district, demanding the discovery of the missing and the prosecution of the perpetrators.
The focus of this week’s action was Kemal Mübariz, who was forcibly disappeared on 1 February 1994 in Cizre (Cizîr) district of Şırnak (Şirnex). İHD Diyarbakır Branch member Fırat Akdeniz recounted Mübariz’s story, describing a joint operation by soldiers, special forces and police in Cizre that led to the abduction of Kemal and his brother Ömer by armed individuals who claimed they were needed for interrogation. Despite the family’s efforts, including paying a ransom, Kemal was never returned and has since been missing.
The legal proceedings initiated by the Mübariz family, including complaints against the then-Cizre Jandarma Commander Cemal Temizöz and others, have failed to yield any progress. Despite the family’s numerous appeals to various institutions and threats received to desist from pursuing the case, justice remains elusive.
In Batman, the İHD Branch and relatives held their 618th demonstration, focusing on the story of Cüneyt Aydınlar, who disappeared after being detained by anti-terrorism police in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district on 20 February 1994. Despite eyewitness accounts of Aydınlar being subjected to severe torture and subsequently taken from his cell by police, official investigations have not resulted in any accountability, with all inquiries concluding without charges against the officers involved.
Held at Galatasaray Square for the 984th time, the Istanbul Galatasaray vigil, a longstanding protest by the Saturday Mothers, relatives of those forcibly disappeared, persisted this week in seeking answers for individuals lost in custody, including Maksut Tepeli, who has been missing for 40 years since his detention.
These vigils represent a steadfast demand for justice against enforced disappearances, emphasising the state’s responsibility to safeguard citizens’ rights and the necessity of thorough investigations into such cases. Despite legal efforts and international appeals, families like Tepeli’s are left without resolution, highlighting the systemic failures in addressing past injustices and securing accountability within Turkey’s human rights framework.