If you had visited the courthouse in Turkey’s city of Urfa (Riha) today, you would see a woman, sitting in the hot sun, with tears streaming down her cheeks and grasping a piece of paper with the words written on it, “We want justice”.
This woman is Emine Şenyaşar and she is no ordinary woman just waiting for a daily hearing to end. This is her 134th day in front of the very same courthouse.
For the last 134 days, she has come every day to the courthosue, where she launches a sit-in protest and in a dignified and determined way she demands justice for her husband and her two sons who were killed by an AKP MP’s family armed security guards in open view with many witnesses and filmed by CCTV.
On the first day of the Muslim ‘festival of sacrifice’ Eid al-Adha she arrives at the same time as she has done for the past 134 days, quitely in a humble, determined and dignified manner.
When the Muslim world is enjoying family reunions on this holy festival period, Emine Şenyaşar is unable to do so, because her husband, Hacı Esvet Şenyaşar, and two of their sons, Adil and Celal, died in an armed attack in 2018.
The armed attack was committed by the relatives and bodyguards of İbrahim Halil Yıldız, an MP of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), but only one of the attackers was brought the justice whilst the others are still free.
“No justice, no feast, no holiday,” Emine Şenyaşar told MA.
“They did what ever they could to us on that day that they attacked. They still do, they still do…They are still after us. They make the police follow us. They detain us, they throw us in jails. Is this justice?”
Stating that she sent three members of her family to the grave and one to the prison, she says the Turkish state ‘has no conscience’.
Those who killed my children, those who perpetrated this massacre walk freely in Suruç. Why do they not catch these people? If they claim they are just, they should have caught them. They were the ones who pulled the guns in our shop. However, they sent my son behind the bars.”
She appealed to Turkish President Erdoğan: “Erdoğan, don’t you have any mercy? You also have children. If you do not release my Fadıl, then I wish the fire that burns my heart burns your heart too.”
Enver Yıldız, the brother of the AKP MP, was sentenced to 18 years in prison on 2nd April. This was the final hearing, but 18 years for the murder of three people was not the expected appropriate decision. So Emine Şenyaşar has not ended her quest for justice and she still continues to ask for the other perpetrators of the murders to be brought to justice.
On the other hand, Emine Şenyaşar’s other son, Fadıl Şenyaşar, who was lucky to survive the armed attack had returned fire at one of the attackers, in self defence, and was sentenced to 37 years and nine months in prison.