Two members of the Şenyaşar family, mother Emine and son Ferit, have been holding silent vigils in front of the courthouse in Turkey’s southeastern Şanlıurfa (Riha) province to demand justice for their loved ones who were killed in an altercation with a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy’s family ahead of the 2018 presidential elections.
“Two things will get us to end this: We get justice, or we die,” Ferit Şenyaşar told Mezopotamya Agency on Tuesday.
The mother and son have been holding silent vigils for 491 days to demand justice for the three members of the family who lost their lives, and for the older brother Fadıl Şenyaşar who was issued a 37 year prison sentence.
“We are being persecuted. For four years, my brother has been kept in solitary confinement just to please the elite,” Ferit said. “I see the prosecutors who have made a mother sit here for 1.5 years as people who lost their humanity.”
The Şenyaşars were targeted in the family shop they ran in Şanlıurfa when a discussion with AKP deputy İbrahim Halil Yıldız’s family members devolved into a shootout. One family member lost his life on site, while two others were killed in a second attack in the emergency room of the hospital they were taken to for treatment.
In the incident, the step brother of the MP was also killed by a bullet that was fired from an unidentified gun. Following the deaths, son Fadıl Şenyaşar was arrested. The family believes the investigation did not cover the deputy’s side as thoroughly.
“If there is rule of law in Turkey, why does this cruelty continue still?” asked the family via a Twitter account they run.