* Photograph: Evrensel newspaper
Click to read the article in Turkish
Saturday Mothers/People, whose sit-in protests at Galatasaray Square in Beyoğlu, İstanbul have been prevented since their 700th gathering on August 25, 2018, were again prevented from gathering at the square by the police in the 714th week on December 1.
Saturday Mothers/People met in front of the İstanbul Branch office of the Human Rights Association (İHD) in Beyoğlu despite police blockade and demanded justice for lawyers Şevket Epözdemir and Tahir Elçi.
The weekly statement for the press of the İHD Commission Against Detentions was read out by Maside Ocak, the sister of Hasan Ocak, who disappeared in custody:
"We have met for Epözdemir and Elçi"
"Our right to make a statement for the press at Galatasaray (Square) has been unlawfully prevented for the last 15 weeks.
"Our lawyers, who are the biggest safeguards of our freedom of seeking justice in this climate of unlawfulness, also face serious violations.
"In our 714th week, we have come together to commemorate two of these lawyers, namely the lawyers of our losses Şevket Epözdemir and Tahir Elçi, on the anniversary of their massacre.
"A quarter-century impunity in massacre of Epözdemir"
"Lawyer Şevket Epözdemir, who was also the Tatvan representative to the İHD, was being threatened due to his legal struggle against grave rights violations committed in the 1990s.
"On November 25, 1993, he was kidnapped while he was on his way from his office to his home. The day after, his deceased body was found in a channel in Güroymak in (Turkey's eastern province of) Bitlis. His eyes were blindfolded and he was shot in his face with a firearm.
"His family took all legal actions regarding his murder. However, the crime scene investigation, which aims to uncover the crime and obtain evidence, was conducted 17 years after the murder.
"No effective investigation has been conducted into the murder of Epözdemir. The impunity in his massacre has been continuing for quarter of a century.
"No suspects in the file of Tahir Elçi"
"Tahir Elçi was a lawyer who was known for his struggle against impunity in crimes committed against humanity. He was subjected to enormous pressure and threats for that reason.
"He was targeted while he was the Chair of Diyarbakır Bar Association. On November 28, 2015, while he was making a statement for the press in front of the Four-Legged Minaret in Sur, Diyarbakır with the demand that historic buildings such as the minaret itself be protected from conflicts, he was shot to death with a single bullet to his head.
"The incident took place in front of several cameras. The crime scene investigation was carried out three days later. It has been three years since his murder; however, there are no suspects in his case file. No effective investigation has been conducted into his murder for three years."
Concluding the statement for the press, Maside Ocak called judicial authorities to conduct an effective investigation into the killings of Şevket Epözdemir and Tahir Elçi and added:
"Our demand is loud and clear: We demand justice for our lawyers. We want Galatasaray, which is our meeting place with our losses." (EKN/SD)
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