11 detained as police attack Saturday Mothers in Istanbul -UPDATE
Turkish police did not allow the 700th week action of Saturday Mothers at IStanbul’s Galatasaray Square. Following an attack, police detained several people.
Today marks the 700th week of the action by Saturday Mothers, mothers and relatives of the victims of disappearances under the custody of state forces, who have been demanding justice and truth for their beloved ones at Istanbul’s central Galatasaray Square every Saturday.
The mothers were traditionally set to gather at Galatasaray Square for their weekly sit-in action, wearing t-shirts with “Saturday Mothers” writing on them, holding red roses and carnations in their hands as well as banners demanding justice and photographs of their disappeared relatives.
Already deployed at the scene, Istanbul police blockaded the area and did not allow the mothers access to the square.
Amid a siege by the police and security forces from the Yapı Kredi Cultural Centre, even taking photographs has been banned.
Stating that access to Galatasaray Square will not be allowed, police said the action has been prohibited by the Ministry of Interior.
Members of the Human Rights Association (IHD) who are accompanying the mothers and insisted on entering the square, were attacked by the police. Several people Several people have been battered and dragged on ground.
11 people were taken into custody in the crackdown. Police also attempted to detain Besna Tosun and Hasan Ocak’s mother Emine Ocak but both were released following reactions.
Besna Tosun, mother of Fehmi Tosun who disappeared in custody, reacted against the police crackdown, saying; “We are coming to this square for 23 years. I am looking for my father at this square. This square is ours.”
Another relative of a disappeared person said; “This square is your mirror, look at this square well.”
Another mother said; “You have killed us. Now you are expelling us from here. The state which did this to us will do the same to you tomorrow.”
CHP Istanbul MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu protested the police attack, saying; “This is cruelty.”