Friday marked the 25th day of the vigil in front of the Ministry of Justice in the Turkish capital, Ankara, by Emine Şenyaşar, a Kurdish mother who has been seeking justice since 2018 for three family members who were killed and another who was imprisoned. Lawyers who went to the ministry building in solidarity with the Şenyaşar family encountered police obstruction.
Emine, who came to the Parliament in a wheelchair due to health problems, marched from there to the Ministry of Justice with a banner reading “Justice”. While the Şenyaşar family was once again prevented from entering the ministry, lawyers from the Association of Contemporary Lawyers (ÇHD) who went to the ministry building in solidarity with the Şenyaşar family were prevented from entering the ministry. Police officers pushed the lawyers out of the ministry building, Mezopotamya Agency reported.
In Şanlıurfa (Riha) in June 2018, Emine lost her husband and two sons as a result of an attack carried out by the security guards and relatives of a former ruling party MP. She has been conducting a vigil for justice for over two years with her son, Ferit Şenyaşar, who is currently a Green Left Party Member of Parliament and survived the attacks with injuries.
Emine’s pursuit of justice is driven by her dual demands: the punishment of those accountable for her family members’ deaths, and the release of her other son, who was gravely wounded during the incident and has languished in prison for five years without a conclusive verdict.
After losing two brothers and his father, son Fadıl Şenyaşar was arrested and sentenced to 37 years in prison over the death of Mehmet Şah Yıldız, who died during the incident along with three Şenyaşars. Yıldız was a relative of a Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP at the time, Enver Yıldız.
Another relative of the AKP MP was sentenced to 18 years in prison over the death of the three Şenyaşars, enjoying a reduced sentence due to his crime being committed under what the court called “unjust provocation”.
Emine Şenyaşar’s search for justice started with her son Fadıl’s arrest, in the form of a vigil in front of the Şanlıurfa courthouse. Honouring the family’s quest, the YSP fielded Ferit Şenyaşar as a parliamentary candidate from their hometown, and he was elected in May.
With a court in neighbouring Malatya rejecting the family’s appeal for Fadıl Şenyaşar’s release, Emine took her fight to the capital. She has been holding her justice vigil in front of the parliament since mid-July. The family met with Deputy Justice Minister Ramazan Can last week, but could not reach a solution.