Relatives of Salih Çalık and Sinan Fidan, two individuals who went missing while in custody in Diyarbakır (Amed) on 6 June 1994, assembled in Batman (Elîh) and Diyarbakır on Saturday to demand information about their fate.
Human rights advocates and relatives of the disappeared continue to hold weekly vigils in Istanbul, Diyarbakır and Batman, representing three significant centres of struggle and remembrance, in response to the extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances during the notorious special war of the 1990s targeting Turkey’s progressives and Kurds.
The group in Batman convened in front of the Human Rights Monument, marking their 583rd week of protests.
Hüseyin Elçi, an executive of the Human Rights Association (İHD) Batman branch, stated that they will continue to inquire about the fate of the disappeared until they get answers. He spoke about Istanbul’s Saturday Mothers, who are also seeking justice for their missing relatives, emphasising the peaceful nature of their demonstrations. “The authorities must open Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square to the Saturday Mothers and abide by the rulings of the Constitutional Court,” he said.
Yakup Güven, Secretary of the İHD Diyarbakır branch, highlighted the broader concerns of the mothers of the missing persons during the vigil in Diyarbakır. “We are demanding that the fate of our missing persons and the victims of unsolved murders be unveiled, and the culprits must face justice. Our voices resonate with the urgency for answers, and we refuse to let these crucial matters be overshadowed by the election agenda,” he said.
Güven stressed the importance of addressing the Kurdish issue, investigating cases of disappearance in custody, and providing justice for unsolved murders. He urged the Turkish government to act, saying, “Peace and accountability must take precedence over electoral politics. It is crucial to reveal the truth and hold those responsible accountable for the disappearances and unsolved murders.”