Turkish police once again obstructed the Saturday Mothers, a group seeking justice for their disappeared relatives, from marching to Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square, and detained 25 individuals on Saturday.
This marks the 24th consecutive blockade of the march during their 965th week of protests, despite a ruling by the Constitutional Court that the ban on their weekly vigil was a violation of their rights.
The group has been conducting sit-in protests in Galatasaray Square since 1995, seeking information about their relatives who have disappeared in custody and demanding the prosecution of those responsible.
The Saturday Mothers, who gathered on İstiklal Street to proceed to Galatasaray Square, were initially blocked and later detained at two separate locations. Upon entering the street, the police surrounded them and used shields to enclose the group.
In related events, the Human Rights Association (İHD) branches in Diyarbakır (Amed) and Batman (Êlih), along with the relatives of the disappeared, continued their protests under the banner of “Let the missing be found, the perpetrators be tried”. Relatives of the disappeared gathered for the 763rd week of action in Diyarbakır and made a statement. During this week’s action, they demanded information regarding the fate of İbrahim Gündem, who went missing in Diyarbakır on 25 September 1991.
In Batman (Êlih) they inquired about the fate of Mehmet Zeki Akyıldız. Akyıldız was abducted and disappeared in Diyarbakır in 1992 by the Kurdish Hizbullah, an extremist Sunni group responsible for violence and terror in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority region during the 1990s.