Fourteen mothers were beaten and detained by police officers in Turkey’s capital city Ankara after they gathered on the Sakarya Road to perform a peaceful sit-in act, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency (MA) reported on Wednesday.
Those who on Wednesday rallied on the Sakarya Road of Ankara’s Cankaya district mostly involved mothers of military cadets from the Turkish Air Force Academy who were given life sentences over their alleged participation in the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
The mothers were reportedly planning to stage a sit-in protest in order to demand from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to allow their children to be released pending an appeal against their convictions.
Nevin Yilmaz, the mother of Mustafa Yilmaz who went missing in the Turkish capital in early 2019 and claimed to be a victim of enforced disappearance, also arrived at the scene to protest the governing AKP’s negligence towards her son’s situation.
The investigation into the abduction of Yilmaz, which occurred in the capital Ankara in February, lacks even the most basic regulatory requirements, according to a recent report by the Ankara Bar Association.
The mother on Wednesday wore an outfit with Mustafa Yilmaz’s photo on it along with writing that said: “I want my Mustafa back.”
Reacting against the police’s attempts to prevent their sit-in protest, Nevin Yilmaz shouted: “Where’s my son, where’s my Mustafa?”
Police officers then covered her mouth and detained her.
“Our children received sentences while they were innocent. They arrested our children for supporting the coup. My child is not a coup supporter,” Hamide Gocer, mother of military cadet Ferhat Gocer, was quoted by the MA as saying on Wednesday.
Following her statements, Gocer was reportedly beaten and dragged to the floor by police officers who then detained her.
According to MA, the police also detained a citizen nearby who reacted against the detention of mothers and refused to leave the area despite the police’s demand.
Sumeyye Yilmaz, the wife of Mustafa Yilmaz, announced in a tweet on Wednesday that both her husband’s parents and the mothers of the military students were released from detention later on the same day.
Gözaltına alınan eşimin anne babası ile harbiyeli öğrencilerin anneleri serbest bırakıldı.. pic.twitter.com/cqnOSaibt8
— Mustafa Yılmaz (@yyilmazmustafa) September 25, 2019
Both Yilmaz and the military cadets had been accused of being members of the Gulen group, a faith-based movement that is claimed by the ruling AKP government to have orchestrated 2016’s coup attempt.
Led by the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, the movement is also designated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP as a terrorist organization.
Gulen, as well as his followers, strongly deny the allegations against them.
Since the attempted coup, the Turkish state has detained or arrested some 77,000 people while prosecuting more than 511,000 over suspected links to the faith-based movement.