The Saturday Mothers, a group comprising relatives of victims of enforced disappearances in Turkey during the 1990s, have once again been subjected to an unconstitutional ban on their weekly vigil. This time, the ban was purportedly justified by a Champions League football match.
During the 950th week of their peaceful protest, the Saturday Mothers gathered on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul, holding roses as a symbol of remembrance. However, when they reached Galatasaray Square, they were met with a police blockade.
This marks the ninth consecutive week that the police have prevented the group from exercising their right to protest, despite a Constitutional Court ruling that declared the ban on sit-in demonstrations as a violation of their rights.
The police claimed that due to the high number of people attending the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League final, they would not allow any press statements or actions to prevent potential terrorist attacks.
As a result, approximately 20 individuals, including the Saturday Mothers and human rights activists, were detained while journalists were forcefully removed from the scene by the police. Furthermore, a citizen who expressed discontent with the detentions was also subjected to police violence before being detained.