Saturday Mothers faced with police repression

Once again the Saturday Mothers were met with police repression while trying to stage their weekly action.

The Saturday Mothers met for the 709th time in Istanbul to demand justice and the truth about their beloved who disappeared while in police custody. 

The Mothers were met once again with police repression. 

HDP deputy Zeynel Özen, artist Nur Sürer and many democratic mass organizations participated in the action, carrying photos of the disappeared as well as carnations.

Hanife Yildiz, the mother of Murat Yildiz, who disappeared while in custody, reacted to the police arbitrary blockade saying: “Our action made history, we crossed borders and you should be ashamed of blocking this action”. 

This week's action was dedicated to the story of the 24-year-old High School teacher Hüseyin Toraman who disappeared while in custody on 27 October 1991.

Reading the statement, Ikbal Eren, sister of Hayrettin Eren who disappeared after been detained during the 1980 junta, said: “In Turkey, despite the disappearance of hundreds of people while in custody, their fate has not yet been disclosed, the perpetrator and the responsible for this crime have never been investigated effectively, there are no prosecuted nor people held accountable for these disappearances”.

Eren reminded that for the last 709 weeks the Saturday Mothers action demanding truth and justice was banned, and that for the last 10 weeks the action has been actually prevented by police. 

The order was given, said Eren, to prohibit the reading of the weekly statement in Galatasaray Square, where the Mothers traditionally staged a sit-in. 

The story of Hüseyin Toraman 

Recalling the story of Hüseyin Toraman, in the 27th anniversary of his disappearance while in custody, Eren said: “There was a warrant for 24-year-old Hüseyin Toraman. He was wanted for statements he allegedly made on 1 May, Workers Day. In the morning of 27 October 1991, a car (number plate 34 ATZ 56) stopped in front of Hüseyin’s house in Kocamustafapasa, in Istanbul. The teacher was forcibly thrown into the White Toros by people in plain clothes. The incident happened in front of shopkeepers, while Hüseyin’s wife was witnessing the event from the window. The police was immediately called to the scene but left after asking a few questions to shopkeepers.

Hüseyin’s father, Ali Riza Toraman, went to Çınar Police Station and asked why they did nothing. A police station officer told him that Hüseyin had not been kidnapped, but taken into custody by political police officers and that they could not intervene. Father Toraman secretly recorded this statement of the police chief”.

Eren continued: “When they spoke with the then Istanbul Police Director Mehmet Agar, Hüseyin’s family was told that their son was safe, not to worry and to go home”. 

Ali Riza Toraman gave the voice record to Interior Minister İsmet Sezgin, who said: 'There is no question that he was detained and questioned'. In order to find his son, Hüseyin’s mother Hatice even met with the then Prime Minister, Süleyman Demirel, to no avail. 

Eren pointed out that the investigation on the disappearance of Hüseyin was closed before reaching any conclusion and no results have been obtained after the IHD (Human Rights Association) appealed the decision to close the investigation.