Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Gökçe Gökçen, Türkan Elçi, Kayıhan Pala and Suat Özçağdaş on Aug. 12 joined the weekly vigil of Saturday Mothers who have been staging sit-in protests at Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square since 1995 demanding the fate of their relatives who disappeared under custody and the prosecution of the perpetrators.
The police once again detained human rights defenders during the vigil despite the top court’s ruling. 31 people were later released during the day.
The Constitutional Court (AYM) on Feb. 23 ruled that the ban of the Beyoğlu District Governor’s Office on the 700th-week gathering of the Saturday Mothers and the police intervention against it was a “violation of the right to organize meetings and demonstrations.”
Every Saturday since April after the AYM’s ruling, Saturday Mothers have been trying to make a press statement by leaving carnations at Galatasaray Square and have been detained by the police.
CHP Diyarbakır Deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu said “court rulings are not implemented on this street in Beyoğlu, Istanbul. Officers commit crimes.”
“Saturday Mothers have been detained here for the 20th week. We have two separate constitutional decisions given by the Constitutional Court regarding this issue. There are also decisions of the European Court of Human Rights,” Tanrıkulu said.
📌 #CumartesiAnneleri 2018'de AKP hükümetinin talimatıyla #GalatasarayMeydanı’nda hukuksuz biçimde gözaltına alındı— Sezgin Tanrıkulu (@MSTanrikulu) August 12, 2023
📌Beyoğlu Kaymakamlığı ve İstanbul Emniyet Müdürlüğü AYM’nin hak ihlali kararına rağmen 20 haftadır gözaltı işlemiyle suç işlemeye devam ediyor @CmrtesiAnneleri pic.twitter.com/0XzjGbe1TX
CHP Istanbul Deputy Suat Özçağdaş said “Beyoğlu District Governor is clearly committing a crime. Law enforcement officers also commit crimes by order of Beyoğlu District Governor. People who want to voice their concerns peacefully and ask where their missing relatives are, are taken away in handcuffs.”
#CumartesiAnneleri’nin 959. hafta basın açıklamasında Cumartesi insanlarıyla bir aradayız.#CumartesiAnneleri'nin adalet arayışında yanlarında olmaya devam edecek, kayıp vatandaşlarımız bulunana ve failler yargılanana kadar arayışımız her daim devam edecek. pic.twitter.com/VYEP6RFs65— Suat Özçağdaş (@Suat_Ozcagdas) August 12, 2023
CHP İzmir Deputy Gökçe Gökçen said “They blockaded people who just want to make their statements. Then (the police) detained everyone. We see it in many places, how they bring and detain murderers, how they are treated or released (in quite the opposite way).”
Cumartesi Anneleri 959 haftadır adalet arıyor. Gözaltında kaybedilen insanların akıbetinin sorulması bile iki açık AYM kararına rağmen suç muamelesi görüyor. 31 kişi bugün hakkını kullandığı için gözaltında. Kaymakamlık ve polis kanunsuz emir uyguluyor, suç işliyor! pic.twitter.com/LvSBet1byj— Gökçe Gökçen (@GokceGokcen_) August 12, 2023
CHP Bursa Deputy Kayıhan Pala said "Again, we are faced with new proof that there is no freedom of expression in the country. There is an autocratic regime in which the Saturday Mothers are not even allowed to make their statements to the public."
In a statement, Saturday Mothers said “We are empowered by our absolute legitimacy, you cannot intimidate us. We will not give up our demand for truth and justice, nor will we give up on Galatasaray.”
Hukuksuzca gözaltına alınan arkadaşlarımız, 4 saat sonra Galatasaray Meydanı'na uzak 3 farklı hastaneden serbest bırakıldı.— Cumartesi Anneleri (@CmrtesiAnneleri) August 12, 2023
Mutlak meşruiyetimizden güç alıyoruz, bizi yıldıramazsınız. Hakikat ve adalet talebimizden de Galatasaray'dan da vazgeçmeyiz.