From Relatives of the Disappeared to Erdoğan: We Don’t Live in Bright Picture You Draw
While the relatives of the disappeared carried carnations and pictures of their losses in their hands, this week's gathering was also attended by Republican People's Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chairs Sezai Temelli and Pervin Buldan, who is also the wife of Savaş Buldan, who was commemorated in this gathering.
Reading out this week's statement for the press on behalf of Saturday Mothers/People, Besna Tosun addressed the Judicial Reform Strategy document introduced by President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last week:
'We are made to live in unlawfulness'
"We don't live in the 'Bright Picture of Turkey' that the President has drawn. We live in a limbo where we cannot learn the fate of our loved ones who were disappeared. We are made to live in a state of unlawfulness where we cannot reach the truth and justice and cannot communicate our demands to the public. We are making a call to the President:
"What we need as a society is not the judicial packages that are the repetition of each other and remain unfulfilled, but the practices that will ensure real justice, democracy and human rights.
"We are calling onyou to immediately initiate the practices based on our Constitutional demands and democratic requests of society in the name of truth, justice and conscience.
'We know the perpetrators very well'
Taking the floor after Besna Tosun, HDP Co-Chair Pervin Buldan, who is also the wife of Savaş Buldan disappeared in custody 25 years ago today, also made the following remarks:
"In this 25-year period, we appealed to everyone, we knocked on every door. But, we were faced with thick walls and a silent, deaf and mute system that doesn't see the incident and doesn't want it to be investigated. For 25 years, we have done our best to ensure that murderers will be brought to justice.
"The policy of systematic disappearance and massacre has been continuing up until today. In fact, we know very well who the perpetrators are. We know that these murders were committed by the hand of the state. Because the ones who committed these murders have never hidden themselves, they told about the murders in some commissions. However, the state and government didn't do anything to change it.
"If the ones killed in unidentified murders are not a part of this judicial reform, if there is nothing about the trial of the responsible parties in it, then we don't expect anything from this judicial reform. These issues should definitely be included in the reform, the society must be relieved." (EMK/AÖ/SD)
TURKEY 2017 HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
There were some unconfirmed reports of disappearances during the year, some of which human rights groups alleged were politically motivated. Opposition politicians and respected human rights groups claimed at least 11 abductions or disappearances of individuals with alleged Gulen ties or who opposed the government occurred. For example, in June the 12-year-old son of agricultural engineer Cemil Kocak witnessed the disappearance of his father in Ankara after their vehicle was hit by another car. When Kocak exited the car to assess the damage, three persons forced him into another car and drove away. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), there were "credible grounds" to believe Kocak and at least three other men had been forcibly disappeared by government agents.
Similarly in April Onder Asan disappeared in Ankara. Six weeks later, his family located him in an Ankara police station. Asan alleged that before being transferred to official custody, he was interrogated and tortured by security forces. Most of the victims identified by HRW had been dismissed from government jobs under the state of emergency. Government officials disputed HRW's claims but declined to provide information on its investigative efforts, if any.
ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES TARGETING
THE GULEN MOVEMENT