The Şenyaşar family, who lost a father and two sons during a 2018 attack allegedly orchestrated by bodyguards and relatives of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP İbrahim Halil Yıldız in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority south-eastern province Şanlıurfa (Riha), issued a statement on Wednesday questioning the judiciary’s accountability in ensuring justice for their loved ones.
Mother Emine Şenyaşar and her surviving son, Ferit Şenyaşar, have been campaigning for justice in front of the Şanlıurfa Courthouse since 9 March 2021. As the justice vigil continued for a 793rd day, Emine Şenyaşar was unable to physically participate due to health issues, but shared a statement on behalf of her family.
“Late justice is not true justice. When the judiciary fails to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions, it shares the guilt with them. To create a more peaceful environment, it is crucial for the justice system to be both efficient and impartial. We will persist in our struggle until justice is achieved,” she said via the campaign’s Twitter account.
Meanwhile, Mithat Sancar, Co-Chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), paid a visit to Emine Şenyaşar on Wednesday. Emine Şenyaşar, who is protesting for justice, has been continuing her vigil at her residence in the Suruç district of Şanlıurfa due to her illness. Sancar was accompanied by Ömer Öcalan and Dilan Kunt Ayan, Green Left Party MPs from Şanlıurfa.
Sancar expressed unwavering solidarity with the Şenyaşar family and vowed to fight until justice is served. He affirmed their commitment to intensify Ferit Şenyaşar’s cause within the parliament, stressing that they will not relent until all acts of injustice come to an end.
Emine Şenyaşar emphasised their determination to persist with their struggle in front of the Şanlıurfa Courthouse until her son, Fadıl Şenyaşar, is released from prison.
Adil Şenyaşar, one of the brothers in the Şenyaşar family, was killed in the attack, during a fight that erupted in their family shop in the Suruç (Pirsûs) district of Şanlıurfa, when AKP MP İbrahim Halil Yıldız was visiting shopkeepers as part of his election campaign. Two other brothers were injured in the incident. When the parents of the Şenyaşar brothers, Hacı Esvet and Emine Şenyaşar, arrived at the hospital, they were attacked once again by Yıldız’s relatives, resulting in the deaths of Hacı Esvet and Celal.
Following these events, Fadıl Şenyaşar, who had also been injured, was the only person arrested, while no one from the Yıldız family faced arrest until September 2019, when Enver Yıldız surrendered himself to the authorities. In April 2021, Fadıl Şenyaşar was sentenced to 37 years and 9 months, and Enver Yıldız received a sentence of 18 years.