Saturday Mothers, reclaiming the right to bury their loved ones
The Saturday Mothers have been fighting for 23 years for the truth about the fate of their relatives who disappeared while in detention to be revealed and for the perpetrators to be punished.
The Saturday Mothers met for the 710th week this Saturday to demand justice ad truth for the people who disappeared while in state forces custody.
They staged their action despite the police blockade. Hasan Karakoç said: “We are reclaiming our right to bury our dead but we get no answers from the authorities. Mothers want a grave they can visit”.
The Saturday Mothers, who have been fighting for 23 years for the truth about the fate of their relatives who disappeared while in detention to be revealed and for the perpetrators to be punished, had to meet in front of the Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch, while both sides of Çukur Çeşme Street were cut off and blocked by police.
HDP deputies Hüda Kaya, Oya Ersoy, CHP deputy Ali Şeker, actor Nur Sürer took part in this week's action, supported by a large number of political parties and democratic mass organizations.
The story of Nazım Gülmez
On 14 October 1994, 61-year-old Nazım Gülmez disappeared after being taken into custody in Hozat district of Dersim.
Nazım Gülmez, father of 9, was 61 and lived in the village of Taşıtlı (Hozat, Dersim). He was working in agriculture and animal husbandry and was much loved.
On 14 October 1994, the soldiers of the Bolu Commando Brigade, during an operation they were carrying out in the region, entered the village of Taşıtlı. The soldiers forced Nazım Gülmez out of his house telling him he should guide them on the field. Gülmez and three more villagers were taken. Eventually the village headman and all the villagers confirmed the events. The three people who had been taken with Gülmez, were released after a while and returned to the village.
Nazim Gülmez did not return.
The response of the military authorities to his wife, Garip Gülmez was: “Soldiers took him to Tunceli and left him there”.
The Gülmez family applied to Hozat Prosecutor's Office, but no progress was made in the case because the prosecutors' office did not show the effort and diligence required for the enlightenment of the incident.
Emphasizing that they will continue to be the voice of Nazım Gülmez, human rights defender Sebla Arcan said that “Garip Gülmez has not been able to come here today because she is in intensive care”.
Arcan demanded an end to the impunity of those responsible for the disappearance of so many people.
Fatma Kırbayır told the story of her brother, Cemil Kırbayır, who disappeared while in custody in 1980.
“My mother - said Fatma - even met Erdoğan to find her son. He promised her they will find her son, but years went by and not a word was said. The state accepted that he was lost in custody. I'm calling to the President: Give me the body of my brother. He has no grave”.
Rıdvan Karakoç's brother Hasan Karakoç recalled the story of his brother who disappeared after being taken in custody 23 years ago.
“We have been here every week to demand the truth and justice for our loved ones. - he said - We are here to reclaim the right to bury our dead”.