In their 826th weekly action, the Saturday Mothers have called on the Turkish government to properly investigate the case of Ayşenur Şimşek, who was murdered in 1995.
Ayşenur Şimşek was the founding chairperson of Sağlık-Sen (Health and Social Services Public Employees Union) Ankara Branch. She was murdered on 28 January 1995.
The Saturday Mothers made a statement on social media. Fatma Şimşek, the sister of Ayşenur Şimşek, said, “We did not hear from our sister after 25 January 1995. A month ago, my father was called to the police station and threatened. ‘Tell your daughter to surrender or this will not be good for her,’ the police said to my father”.
Ayşenur Şimşek was a 27-year-old pharmacist living in Ankara when she was murdered. In the 1990s she used to participate in organisation activities with other health workers. She was detained twice and severely tortured by the government because of her political activities.
After Ayşenur disappeared, the family appealed to the police, the prosecutor’s office, and the Ministry of Interior, but were told that their daughter was not in custody.
The family, whose legal attempts failed, announced that they will start a search campaign with a press release on 21 March 1995. While the campaign was ongoing, news about a woman’s body found in Kırıkkale was published by the Milliyet Newspaper on 11 April 1995. Upon hearing this news, the family applied to the Kırıkkale Prosecutor’s Office and recovered the body of their daughter on 12 April 1995.
According to the autopsy report, Ayşenur Şimşek was killed on 28 January 1995 and there were traces of torture on her body. She was shot in the head and chest with a firearm at close range and her body was found on 29 January 1995 on a road in Kırıkkale.
In the 26 years since, a proper investigation into the murder of Ayşenur Şimşek has not been carried out.
The statement by the Saturday Mothers outlined the injustice of the case. “It was a period when the perpetrators were protected by the state. We know the perpetrators. It was the state itself that prepared a death list of a thousand people. We are a family that has seen and lived through this fascist policies of the state. We saw the true face of the state. Ayşenur was a revolutionary. She was a defender of the most basic democratic rights. These thoughts were a crime according to the state. Those who murdered Ayşenur continue their lives without being charged”.
The statement concluded: “No matter how many years pass, we will not give up demanding justice for Ayşenur Şimşek and the disappeared. We will not give up meeting at Galatasaray Square, which has been banned for 127 weeks.