Turkish police detained 17 members of the Saturday Mothers group during their weekly protest in Galatasaray Square in Istanbul on Saturday, which marks the 943rd week of their peaceful demonstration.
The group was attempting to leave carnations in the square, which has become a symbol of their loved ones who disappeared under state custody in the 1990s. Despite a recent Constitutional Court decision that found the blockade of the square to be a violation of human rights, the police prevented the Saturday Mothers from leaving their flowers.
The police surrounded the group with shields and prevented members of the press from taking pictures or approaching the area. The Saturday Mothers read a statement under the blockade, expressing their continued demand for justice and accountability for their missing loved ones. The police removed the carnations with their feet after the group was detained.
The group’s spokeswoman, Eren Keskin, and co-spokeswoman for the Human Rights Association (İHD) Central Prisons Commission, Nuray Çevirmen, were among those detained. The police also detained Fehmi Tosun’s wife, Hanım Tosun, who had a broken arm and had recently undergone heart surgery. She was beaten and detained after expressing her opposition to the police’s actions. Fehmi Tosun was taken into custody on 19 October 1995 from his home in Avcilar, Istanbul and was never heard from again.