‘Saturday Mothers’ file criminal complaint against Turkey’s interior minister


Saturday Mothers, a group of mainly Kurdish and Alevi parents that gather every Saturday near Taksim Square in Istanbul for their sons and relatives who disappeared in police custody, filed a criminal complaint against Turkey’s Interior Minister on Monday for banning their 23-year-long sit-in protests and insulting them, secular Cumhuriyet daily reported.

The group that has been gathering since 1995 filed a complaint with the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s office regarding Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu who ordered a police intervention and a ban on the group’s sit-in protests in the 700th week of their gathering.

Soylu last month accused the group of being a mouthpiece for terrorist organisations, in an apparent reference to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK is an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for autonomy for over 30 years.

"We have been pushing forth with our struggle for 23 years,’’ one member of the group said. ‘’We are talking about a protest that has not had any problems for 699 weeks.’’

"My child was innocent. They took him, killed him and threw his body into a forrest,’’ one mother said. ‘’Why did they do this? And why do they speak ill of us? What I want is justice.’’

Between 1992 and 1996, 792 state-forced disappearances and murders were reported in Turkey's Kurdish dominant east in the conflict between Turkish security forces and Kurdish insurgents, according to the Human Rights Association.