Police detain Saturday Mothers during their weekly vigil, blockade MPs coming for support

Turkish police on June 17 temporarily detained the human rights group Saturday Mothers at Galatasaray Square during their weekly vigil and blockaded the press release of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Green Left Party, and Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP) MPs who came to support the group.

Ferhat Yaşar / Gazete Duvar 

Turkish police on June 17 temporarily detained 18 members of the 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 group members were released during the same day.

Following the Constitutional Court's ruling that the ban on sit-ins in the square was unlawful, the Saturday Mothers have been organizing a press statement every Saturday for 10 weeks and leaving carnations in the square for their loved ones. 

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Pervin Buldan, Green Left Party (YSP) Istanbul MPs Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Cengiz Çiçek, and Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP) Istanbul MP Ahmet Şık also attended this week's protest.

After the group members were detained, Buldan read the group's statement. Meanwhile, the police set up a second blockade to prevent the statement, beat journalists and pushed them out of the blockade. 

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) Beyoğlu Provincial Directorate members also send their support to the Saturday Mothers by playing famous Kurdish musician Ahmet Kaya's song "Find me mom" from their building near Galatasaray Square. The party also hangs a banner reading "We stand by the Saturday Mothers in their pursuit of truth and justice.” 

The CHP's provincial directorate hangs a banner reading, "We stand by the Saturday Mothers in their pursuit of truth and justice.”

(English version by Can Bodrumlu)