Saturday Mothers: “We will increase our determination not to give up on our lost ones”

We publish an unofficial translation of the article of Yeni Demokrasi found in their webpage.

Saturday Mothers, who come together every week in Galatasaray Square to ask about the fate of their relatives who disappeared or were murdered in custody and to demand the prosecution of the perpetrators, also came together in the 979th week of their protests. Carrying carnations and photographs of their missing relatives in their hands, Saturday Mothers participated in this week’s protest by Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch President Gülseren Yoleri, IHD Istanbul Branch Prisons Commission members, People’s Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) Central Executive Board (MYK) member Musa Piroğlu, politicians and many human rights defenders attended. Again, the square was surrounded by large numbers of police and detention vehicles.

In this week’s action of Saturday Mothers, New Year’s demands and messages were given. The press text was read by IHD Istanbul Branch Executive Board member Zeynep Yıldız. Emphasizing that they will increase their determination not to give up on their lost ones and their hopes of reaching them in the new year, Yıldız said, “Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. While everyone is busy with New Year’s preparations, we are in front of the barriers in Galatasaray Square for the 979th time. Despite the decisions of the Constitutional Court, unfortunately the restrictions on Galatasaray Square continue to change. New Year’s Eve is a time of coming together, celebrating and exchanging gifts among family and friends. As we enter a new year, it is customary to take stock of the past year and share good wishes for the coming year. This new year, we are accounting for last year by asking ‘What did we do to find our lost ones?’ We will do it with the question. We will look at the sky at exactly 12:00 and convey our best wish for the next year to our lost ones: ‘We will find you!’”


Stating that 2023 was a year full of obstructions, detentions and trials for them, Yıldız said: “We have repeatedly experienced the fact that the Constitution and the law are null and void. The government has not fulfilled its duty to reveal the fate of our people disappeared in custody and to punish the perpetrators and those responsible for the crime. He insisted on denial and impunity. In short, we are leaving behind a year in which the rule of law has eroded, the judiciary has been used as a tool for vengeful political intentions, and severe damage has occurred in the legal system. We know that the rule of law is the foundation of democracies. Trust in the law is indispensable for protecting the rights of citizens and ensuring justice. Therefore, in the new year, we will continue to take responsibility for establishing the rule of law and stopping human rights violations. We will continue to demand that public authorities respect our rights and freedoms. In the new year, we will increase our determination not to give up on our lost ones and our hope to reach them. “We will never stop telling what needs to be heard and known about goodness, hope, truth and justice,” he said.

Lastly, Yıldız said, “We share with the public our wish for a new year that will continue with life and peace, instead of the year we left behind with war, death, and crimes against humanity, where the silence of other states further encouraged the perpetrator states. “We hope 2024 will be a year in which we grow hope, resistance and solidarity,” he said.

Then, Saturday Mothers threw the carnations they carried in their hands to Galatasaray Square. Saturday Mother Hanife Yıldız also threw her carnations into the square and said, “We were carrying our carnations back in our arms. We leave these carnations to them, just like the people who were lost. And they trample them behind our backs. He reacted to the police’s intolerance to their carnations with the words “They continue their oppression without shame and tirelessness.”

After the statement, the action ended.

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