Saturday Mothers met for the 725th week in Istanbul

Despite the police blockade, the action took place and was joined this week by members of the International Peace Delegation Ogmundur Jonasson and Beverly Ann Keene.

Saturday Mothers, who have been demanding truth and justice for the people who disappeared while in State forces custody, gathered for the 725th time in Istanbul today.

Despite the police blockade, the action took place and was joined this week by members of the International Peace Delegation Ogmundur Jonasson and Beverly Ann Keene. The delegation had come to follow the hunger strike of HDP deputy Leyla Güven, and to see whether it would be allowed to meet Abdullah Ocalan in Imrali.

Surrounded by photos of the disappeared people, Besna Tosun, daughter of disappeared Fehmi Tosun, read this week’s statement.

Before that, Meryem Baskın, mother of Mecit Baskın and a Saturday Mother, who passed away this morning was commemorated.

Tosun condemned the ban of the action in its usual place, Galatasaray Square.

The story of Rıdvan Karakoç

Tosun demanded justice for Rıdvan Karakoç, who was murdered 24 years ago in detention, and told the story of his disappearance.

34-year-old Karakoç had been working in Kurdish political parties, and the founding of Mesopotamia Cultural Center.

Tosun said that Karakoç was targeted by police because of these activities and when they issued a warrant against him, he did not return to the family house.

Tosun added: “The police raided the Karakoç family’s home many times. They were swearing and insulting the relatives of Rıdvan, threatening that if they didn’t tell them his whereabouts they would kill him on the spot when they found him.

Rıdvan, who regularly communicated with his family, also sent a letter to Eren Keskin, one of the IHD lawyers. Rıdvan stayed in touch with his family and his lawyer Keskin until 15 February 1995. After 15 February, it stopped and so did police abuse and raids.”

Stating that the Karakoç family applied to all authorities in vain, Tosun said that all the institutions of the State denied having him under their custody.

Tosun said: “Three months later, the Ocak family, who had been looking for their son Hasan, saw the photo of the tortured body of Rıdvan, by chance, among the files they were shown at Beykoz Prosecutor's Office. Thus, it was discovered that indeed Rıdvan Karakoç had been tortured and his body had gone through all the official institutions including the prosecutor's office, after being kept in the Forensic Medicine Institute, and was secretly buried in the Altınşehir Cemetery of the Nameless.

Although those who detained and tortured Rıdvan Karakoç are known, the law was not executed and the perpetrators were protected. The investigation lasted 24 years has not turned into a case.

The investigation file found in the Beykoz Prosecutor's Office was kept there for 24 years without any significant improvement except for routine correspondence.”

We won’t give up

Rıdvan Karakoç's brother Hasan Karakoç spoke after the press release and said that they have been fighting for justice for the disappeared people for 24 years and will continue to do so. “For 24 years, - he said - the file on my brother has been kept on the shelves of the State. What I can do for my brother is to find out what happened to him and fight for justice. People were massacred in front of the everyone in the middle of the street by systematic torture.”

Hasan Ocak's elder brother Hüseyin Ocak, said: “Twenty four years ago, while looking for my brother Hasan who had disappeared in police custody, I came across the photo of Rıdvan. I reported the situation to the chief prosecutor in Beykoz. This was the problem of the state, the state knew that Rıdvan had disappeared in that period. Ridvan was left at Beykoz like Hasan, and he was then taken to the forensic prison with Hasan. All the facts will be revealed, those responsible will be tried and for this we are fighting. We will continue to fight for Ridvan, Hasan and all our disappeared.”