Saturday Mothers: We will continue to fight until justice is served

Asking the fate of Kenan Bilgin, Saturday Mothers said, "We will fight until we find justice."

Saturday Mothers issued a statement on the social media in the 858th week of their actions due to the coronavirus. The statement called attention to Kenan Bilgin's predicament, who went missing in detention on September 12, 1994.

Sair Çoban stated that he was also in detention at the time and that someone in the opposite cell was attempting to show himself when he went out to the air conditioning: "He was attempting to show himself by sticking through one of the cell's battlements when he exclaimed, 'My name is Kenan Bilgin. They're going to kill me, they didn't register me.' This was something I saw firsthand. When I returned from the torture chamber, I heard the same voice again. Kenan's voice became audible to me. After a few days, there was no sound coming from the cell. They most likely took comrade Kenan to an MIT site in the Ankara region and murdered him.”


The second witness, Özer Akdemir, indicated that the cell in which he was detained was adjacent to the torture chamber, saying, "When he was taken to torture, I could hear the sound of torture. He shouted from the battlement one day, "I’m Kenan Bilgin. 'I haven't been registered. Kenan was taken away from there a day or two later.”

Sister Naciye Bilgin Ökdemir, who spoke later, stated that they had been looking for her brother for 27 years and said, “When I think of September 12th, I think of turmoil, pain, and loss. My mother died while shouting out her son's name. It can't be that harsh. We will not abandon this case. We will continue to fight until justice is served. We shall not sit back and watch while people disappear in custody.”

Ümmühan Kaya, one of the Saturday People, read the press text. Kaya stated that Bilgin was apprehended from a bus stop in Ankara's Dikmen neighbourhood and taken to the Ankara Security Directorate Anti-Terror Branch, adding, "His family, lawyers, and Human Rights Association attempted to reach Kenan Bilgin, but Ankara police denied that he had been apprehended. Thereupon, 11 witnesses announced to the public that they had seen Kenan Bilgin tortured in the branch.” Kaya added that the family applied to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in order to locate Bilgin, but Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Selahattin Kemaloğlu, who attempted to contact the criminals, was stopped from doing so and was banished to another location.


Emphasizing that the prosecutor Özden Tönük, who took over the investigation, did not take the necessary steps regarding the applications of the family and the witnesses, Kaya stated that the prosecutor wrote a 3-page report containing the untrue allegations made by the witnesses to humiliate the police and the state, and closed the case. Drawing attention that the family brought the file to the ECtHR and that the ECtHR judges came to Ankara to investigate after the domestic law failed to yield any results, Kaya added, "The Court declared that Kenan Bilgin was taken into custody by the security forces on September 12, 1994; that he was in the hands of the security forces until 3 October 1994; however, it has been determined that no record was kept in this regard and unanimously condemned Turkey.”

Kaya stated that, while the ECtHR listened to the witnesses and confirmed the statements, no information could be obtained from the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on the fact that Kenan Bilgin was taken to one of the Ankara Police Department's detention centers, and that they decided not to prosecute on the grounds of statute of limitations, and that all objections to the decision were rejected.

Ümmühan Kaya stated that Turkey, as a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, is obligated to implement the ECtHR's rulings in accordance with Article 90 of the Constitution, adding, "Judicial authorities must take into account the ECtHR's decisions."