Three years on, family’s grieving for lost daughter remains

Three years on, family’s grieving for lost daughter remains
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“Let me have a grave for her,” Gulistan Doku’s mother said. “I want to pray in her grave.”

Family and relatives of a young Kurdish woman who went missing on January 5, 2020 staged a sit-in in Turkey’s southeastern Dersim province, still asking for their daughter despite a search that went on for three years ended up yielding no result.

Gulistan Doku, 21, went missing in Tunceli, where she was attending university. She was last seen arguing with her boyfriend Zaynal Abarakov who was later detained but released after a short time.

Later, images of her sitting on a bridge over a reservoir emerged, prompting authorities to believe she had died by suicide and police searching the reservoir.

However, no results were obtained from the searches and no evidence of Gulistan has been reached.

“Where are you Gulistan?” screamed her mother, holding a photo of her daughter in her hands, while sister Aygul protested the inadequate efforts by the authorities.

“They say Gulistan flew like a bird, they say she evaporated like water,” she said.

Mother Bedriye Doku asked for the search to continue.

“For God's sake, find our daughter. It's my right to know what happened to her. Let me have a grave and I pray at her grave. I am calling out to everyone, find my child for God's sake and help us. We can't sleep, we can't bear it anymore," she said.

After continuing to search Doku around town and underwater for over seven months, the governor of Dersim stopped the operations in August 2020.