Emine Şenyaşar and her son Ferit Şenyaşar have been engaged in a sit-in vigil for 74 days in Turkey’s southeastern province of Urfa (Riha) demanding justice for their family members who were murdered by the bodyguards of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP Halil Yıldız.
Speaking to Jin News on the 74th day of her protest, Emine Şenyaşar said: “We have been sitting here for three months. I am looking for the murderers of my children. There is no state, there is no justice, but only cruelty. Where should we go? Should we commit suicide?”
Emine Şenyaşar and Ferit Şenyaşar were detained yesterday during their protest.
Police intervened in their peaceful protest just moments before the visit of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Pervin Buldan, who had announced that she would be making a solidarity visit with the Şenyaşar family as they held their vigil in front of the Urfa Courthouse.
Police reportedly assaulted Emine and Ferit Şenyaşar and detained them on the grounds of “insulting a state officer”.
Issuing a press statement just before the police detained her, Emine Şenyaşar said: “Why do these police take us away from the court? All footage [regarding the murder of her Şenyaşar family members] have been hidden. My children were killed purposefully. Nobody should be a partner of this massacre. We want justice to be served”.
Pervin Buldan yesterday issued a press statement in front of the Courthouse under a police blockade and continued the vigil for justice for a while in place of the detained Şenyaşar family. “We have come here to express that, in our heart, we share this pain of the Şenyaşar family, who have suffered a great deal. However, as we arrived, we saw that the Şenyaşar family was not here. We came and saw that the Şenyaşar family had been detained just because of the fact that we were coming here today”, she said.
Buldan urged the public to provide support to the justice struggle of the Şenyaşar family. “Our demand now is for the urgent release of the Şenyaşar family. All that you have done to that mother, all that suffering that you have caused her will be kept in the hearts of the people and the Şenyaşar family will be most certainly be able to obtain justice, which they have been striving and hoping for”, she said.
Emine Şenyaşar’s husband, Hacı Esvet Şenyaşar, and two of their sons, Adil and Celal, died in an armed attack that was reportedly perpetrated by the bodyguards and relatives of the AKP Urfa deputy, İbrahim Halil Yıldız, in 2018. A Court, on 2 April, sentenced Fadıl Şenyaşar, who lost two of his brothers and father in the attack, to 37 years and nine months in prison whilst Enver Yıldız, the brother of the AKP MP, was sentenced to 18 years in prison.