Turkish police arrested relatives of the victims of state violence after they met to commemorate the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances in Istanbul on Tuesday.
At least 12 members of the Saturday Mothers and Human Rights Association’s (IHD) groups were arrested at a gathering in a cemetery for unidentified people in Küçükçekmece district.
The Saturday Mothers and the IHD Istanbul Branch were preparing to make a statement at the cemetery to mark International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.
The human rights defenders and family members of the disappeared were forcibly dragged away and arrested for taking part in the demonstration, Yol Haber reported.
The Saturday Mothers – mothers of suspected victims of political killings by the state – have been meeting on Saturdays to protest against Turkey’s history of enforced disappearances since the mid 1990s.
The Saturday Mothers’ first sit-in was staged in front of Galatasaray High School, located on Istanbul’s central İstiklal Boulevard, on 27 May 1995.