The Saturday Mothers held their 939th protest online on Saturday, demanding answers about the fate of İbrahim Çelik and his son Edip Çelik, who were detained by the Hizbullah in Batman in 1994 and disappeared under custody.
The Saturday Mothers (Cumartesi Anneleri) are a group of mothers who gather every Saturday in Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square to demand justice for their loved ones who disappeared under state custody in the 1990s. The group has been protesting for over 25 years, and despite facing police intervention and arrests, they continue to fight for the people who have disappeared in Turkey.
Maside Ocak, speaking on behalf of the Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch Commission Against Disappearances in Custody, called for justice for the Çelik family during the protest. She also criticised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent comments about the Hüda-Par, saying that Erdoğan aims to distract society from the truth.
Hüda-Par, a political party known for its close ties with the Turkish Hizbullah (not to be confused with Lebanon’s Hezbollah), was recently included in the ruling People’s Alliance for the upcoming elections, pushing the alliance further to the far-right.
Ocak noted that Batman was the centre of the Hizbullah in the 1990s and that the group operated on the basis of a special warfare strategy linked to the state.
The family had filed a criminal complaint to the prosecutor’s office, but all applications were inconclusive.
For 29 years, İbrahim and Edip Çelik’s fate has remained unknown, and their family’s efforts to find them have not been adequately investigated.