The first hearing of a 2018 case known as the “hospital massacre”, regarding the killing of three members of the Kurdish Şenyaşar family, started on Tuesday 17 January at the Malatya 5th High Criminal Court. The judge rejected the request of the bar associations to intervene in the case.
Emine Şenyaşar’s husband and two of her sons were attacked at their family shop in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority district of Suruç (Pirsûs) by bodyguards and relatives of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Urfa deputy, İbrahim Halil Yıldız. Her husband and one of her sons were then killed while in hospital receiving treatment for injuries they sustained in the initial attack.
Emine Şenyaşar reacted when defendants did not accept the accusations by asking, “Then who killed my husband and children?”
The family’s lawyer, Bülent Duran, in a Halk TV broadcast with Emine and Ferit Şenyaşar said that the governor, a minister and the police chief were all present at the time of the incident, but no one related to the attack had been detained until April 2022, and that the case was open for over four years after the incident.
According to Duran, the hospital’s security camera recordings were not released and the defendants were not identified.
Since the incident, Emine Şenyaşar and her son Ferit have been campaigning for justice for their family, including the release of the relevant CCTV videos from the hospital, and hold a daily justice vigil outside Urfa Judicial Buildings.
Emine Şenyaşar said that she has been detained six times so far in the process of seeking justice, and that her other son, who has been imprisoned for four years, was innocent.
One of Şenyaşar’s two remaining sons was sentenced in April 2021 to 37 years in prison for actions which he said were in defence of his family.
Mother Şenyaşar noted that the family is conservative, and that she went to Umrah (an Islamic pilgrimage) a month before the incident, pointing out that the news reflected in the media that the family is related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is not true.
AKP MP Yıldız attended the courthouse along with his bodyguards. Both Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Republican People’s Party (CHP) officials were present at the hearing.
Lawyer Duran has called on the public to support the Şenyaşar family trial in their search for justice.