Cemil Kırbayır, who disappeared in detention in the eastern province of Ardahan in Turkey is one of many political activists forcibly disappeared after the 12 September 1980 military coup. His mother Berfo searched for her missing son for years and herself became a symbol of Turkey’s ”Saturday Mothers”, who gather every Saturday demanding information about victims of disappearances and political murders since the 1980 military coup.
The reinvestigation of Kırbayır’s enforced disappearance started in 2014, but Kars State Prosecution closed the case on 28 December due to the statute of limitations, despite an earlier decision of Ardahan High Criminal Court, MA reports.
Kırbayır’s family and lawyers held a press conference demanding “justice for Cemil Kırbayır” at the Istanbul Branch of the Human Rights Association (İHD) following the closure of his case under the statute of limitations.
Kırbayır’s older brother Mikail, sister Fatma Gülmez, İHD Co-Chair Eren Keskin and members of the Saturday Mothers attended the conference.
İHD Co-Chair Eren Keskin spoke first:
“Because the fates of Cemil Kırbayır and the other disappeared have not yet been determined the crime persists. It is an ongoing crime, there is no legal basis for application of the statute of limitations. ” she said, continuing:
“It is completely against the law.”
Kırbayır’s brother Mikail Kırbayır said that they have been demanding justice for their brother for years.
“The state murdered Cemil Kırbayır as a result of an arbitrary and extrajudicial execution. No action has been taken. It has been swept under the carpet by the state trial system. The statute of limitations has not expired.”
He underlined that the court acted unlawfully in closing the case.
“No action has been taken. It has been swept under the carpet by the state trial system. The statute of limitations has not expired. The time has been stolen. And disappearance in custody is a crime against humanity.”
Meanwhile Cemil Kırbayır’s sister Fatma Gülmez stated that the family had suffered terribly all these years.
They didn’t just kill Cemil Kırbayır, they killed all of us at that time. It caused my father great distress. We went with my mother to see him (Erdoğan), he was prime minister at the time. I was witness there, he promised, “I will find your son”.
She recalled President Erdogan’s promise to find Cemil Kırbayır
“President, are you mocking us? I’m a sister, I’m a mother, our cries made the very skies mourn.” she stated.