Eighth Anniversary of the Suruç Massacre

Police attacked youth organisations distributing leaflets to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the Suruç Massacre on 17 July. 46 of the young people were detained and the police said “Who cares about the law?” to the lawyers who wanted to meet with their representatives. The next morning, nine of the detained youth were sent to court for arrest and four for judicial control. Six of them were arrested.

Law enforcement violence, starts during leaflet distribution, increases exponentially on the 8th anniversary of the massacre.

Youth organisations made statements demanding the immediate release of their arrested friends and called for participation in the 8th anniversary commemorations to be held on 20 July. Commemorations took place in many cities this year following the calls. The commemorations in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir were attacked by the police. During the protests in Kadıköy in Istanbul, Youth Organisations marched in various parts of the district, shouted slogans and made the voices of the murdered 33 young people heard. Lawyers and journalists were subjected to police violence along with the youth during the interventions in Kadıköy. Tear gas was also used during the interventions in Istanbul.

A total of 154 people were detained in Istanbul. Lawyers were prevented from meeting with their detainees during the period of pre-custody. Lawyers who were prevented from meeting with their detainees were subjected to violence, torture and insults by the police. Lawyers made a press statement in front of Kartal Courthouse against all illegality and violence. 

While 121 of the detainees were released without statement, 33 spent the night in detention and gave statements to the prosecutor’s office in the morning. The detainees were released part by part over a period of nearly 24 hours on 21 July. 29 of the 33 detainees who had been sent to the public prosecutor’s office were released without being taken into custody. Among those released was Artı TV reporter Umut Taştan, whose finger was broken in custody.

Human Rights Association (İHD) issued a statement condemning the police intervention. The Istanbul Bar Association issued a statement condemning the violence against lawyers at the police station and reminding that preventing a lawyer from doing his/her duty is a criminal offence.

Two of the four people waiting for their statements to be taken were released with judicial control, while the remaining two people were referred for arrest. The police and judiciary arrested 6 young people who distributed leaflets and participated in the protest to commemorate the friends they lost in the massacre, and referred 2 of them for arrest on the eighth anniversary of the Suruç Massacre, where justice is still not carried out and the perpetrators are not tried fairly.

Suruc Massacre

Young people who wanted to show solidarity with Kobanê, which fought against the siege of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) for 2 years between 2014-15, made an appeal.  300 people gathered in order to heal the wounds of war and destruction and held a press statement in the garden of the Amara Cultural Centre in Suruç district of Urfa on 20 July. A bomb exploded during the statement, killing 33 people and injuring more than 100 people. The ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The relatives of those killed and injured are still continuing their struggle for justice for Suruç.