The Saturday Mothers in Turkey demand to know the fate of their loved ones
Arti Gercek reports that the Saturday Mothers, whose protest to inquire about the fates of their loved ones lost in custody and request for the punishment of the culprits is on its 938th week, reacted against the Kurdish Islamist Free Cause Party (HUDA PAR) joining Erdogan’s People’s Alliance.
During the protest they carried out in front of the Kosuyolu Park Right to Life Monument, the Human Rights Association’s (IHD) Diyarbakir Branch and the Relatives of the Missing asked about the fate of Mehmet Mungan, who was never heard from again after being detained in 1998 in the Silopi district of Sirnak. In Batman, the relatives of the forcibly disappeared and members of the IHD Branch gathered in front of the Human Rights Monument on Gulistan Street and asked about the fate of Zeynel Kursep, who was never heard from again after he was abducted in Batman on March 24, 1994.
THE SATURDAY MOTHERS’ PROTEST IS ON ITS 938TH WEEK
The statement made online by the Saturday Mothers was read by Jiyan Tosun, the daughter of Fehmi Tosun who disappeared from custody. The statement reads:
“After the message sent to society through the Gendarmerie Intelligence and Anti-Terror Unit (JITEM), which has come to signify homicides whose culprits are known and enforced disappearances, we are being given another message through Hezbollah, whose name goes hand in hand with the brutal practices of the 90s.
“HE HAD SAID THAT GOD ASSISTED IN THEIR MURDERS”
Senior figures of HUDA PAR have recently declared that they are in negotiations to support the People’s Alliance, upon the invitation of President Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
As the public knows, after Hezbollah was declared a terrorist organizations, its network founded the Mustazaflar Association (The Association of the Oppressed) in 2003. When the association was forced into closure by the Diyarbakir 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance on the basis that it ‘carries out actions in accordance with the goals of the Hezbollah terrorist organization,’ they coalesced under the umbrella of the Free Cause Party, that is HUDA PAR.
During his defense at court Cemal Tutar, the coordinator of the military wing of Hezbollah, had said that the murders they committed were done with the help of God, and that they had won the love of the military and the police through their actions. If so, what were these actions that garnered the love of the military and the police?
“THE USAGE OF TORTURE METHODS THAT KNOW NO BOUNDS IN CRUELTY”
Acid attacks on women wearing pants or short skirts whom they labeled immoral. The murder of Kurdish politicians, imams, journalists, and members of the security forced in broad daylight and in plain view. The murder of villagers or leaders of Islamic groups who refused to obey them in the most brutal manner and disposing of their bodies after having kidnapped them for their political or religious identities. Using torture methods that know no bounds in cruelty, such as the hogtie method.
“TANTAN SAID, ‘WE HAVE NOT SEEN OR HEARD SUCH ATROCITIES IN NEITHER MOVIES NOR BOOKS’”
The discharge of Hezbollah, whose function had been presumed to be completed after the Susurluk events, came to the fore. The crimes they had committed with the police operations in the year 2000 were discussed. The Minister of the Interior at the time, Sadettin Tantan, said, ‘We have not seen or heard of such atrocities in neither movies nor books’ in reaction to what he had witnessed.
The photos of the many people carried by the relatives of the disappeared in Galatasaray, Diyarbakir Kosuyolu, and Batman Gulistan Street were forcibly disappeared by Hezbollah as a result of the security forces who turned a blind eye.
“HEZBOLLAH MEANS BLOOD, IT MEANS BRUTALITY”
This is why Hezbollah means enforced disappearances for us. It means underground interrogation houses, it means interrogation villages. It means torture by brutal methods such as the hogtie. It means death to those who are not like them. In short, it means blood, it means brutality.
“GIVE UP ON THREATENING SOCIETY WITH THE DARKNESS OF THE PAST”
In our 938th week, we are calling to the government: Don’t do this, don’t trigger our trauma and our wounds by recirculating the symbols of violence in the 90s for the sake of your elections…
For all of our society-wide wounds to be healed, we need democracy, human rights, equality, freedom, peace, and welfare. We need the justice for the modicum of which we had been yearning. We need a country that is based on the rule of law. We need a free and fair election process. Enough is enough! Give up on threatening society with the darkness of the past.”
IHD’s Diyarbakir Branch and Relatives of the Missing carried out the 736th “Find the Disappeared, Prosecute the Perpetrators” protest in front of the Kosuyolu Park Right to Life Monument. In the demonstration where a banner with the photographs of the disappeared was displayed, the groups asked about the fate of Mehmet Mungan, who was never heard from again after being detained in 1998 in the Silopi district of Sirnak.
“AFTER LEAVING HIS UNCLE’S HOME, HE IS NOT HEARD FROM AGAIN”
Speaking at the demonstration, IHD Diyarbakir Branch Board Member Firat Akdeniz noted that the Mungan family had lived in Ceylan Mezrasi in the Yenikoy district of Silopi until the 1990s, and said, "When clashes begin in the region, due to the pressures from the security forces, the Mungan family evacuates their village and settles in the village of Xezâyâ (Doruklu). Mehmet, 27, who was a truck driver, comes to Silopi on March 18, 1998 to load the goods he will take to Iraq. In the evening, he visits his uncle's house in Silopi and takes some money for the journey and leaves the house. After leaving his uncle's house, he is not heard from again," he said.
NO PROGRESS MADE IN THE CASE
Emphasizing that the Mungan family had contacted both the security forces and the military authorities upon not hearing from Mehmet, who was due to depart the next day for work, Akdeniz said that the Mungan family was called to the police station once more, but were unable to acquire any information. Akdeniz continued:
“After the trials that started under the Ergenekon name in 2009, Mehmet Mungan's family applied to the Sirnak Bar Association on the basis that some of the soldiers on trial in the Ergenekon case could be responsible for Mehmet’s disappearance. In his statement on January 26, 2009, his older brother Zeydin Mungan, explained the incident and demanded that the perpetrators be found. In 2011, he again attempted to file a lawsuit with the help of his lawyers, but no progress is made in Mungan's case.”
“27-YEAR-OLD MUNGAN IS STILL MISSING”
Akdeniz concluded his words as follows: “All searches for Mungan, who disappeared on March 18, 1998, remain inconclusive. His family’s legal initiatives have yielded no progress. From that day until the present, 27-year-old Mungan has still been missing.”
In Batman, Relatives of the Missing and members of the IHD Batman Branch gathered in front of the Human Rights Monument on Gulistan Street in the 513th week of their protests. In the demonstration where a banner with the photographs of the disappeared was displayed, the groups asked about the fate of Zeynel Kursep, who was never heard from again after being abducted in Êlih on March 24, 1994. IHD Branch Manager Ahmet Siray, who read the statement, stressed that demonstrations would continue until answers were given.