Woman demanding justice for slain family members faces 4 years in prison

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A Turkish public prosecutor is seeking a jail sentence of up to four years for Emine Şenyaşar, who has been demanding justice for three members of her family who were murdered by people connected to a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker, the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Thursday.

Şenyaşar’s husband Esvet Şenyaşar and two sons, Adil and Celal, were brutally murdered on June 14, 2018 in southeastern Şanlıurfa province. They were initially attacked in their store and taken to a hospital. They were followed by the family and bodyguards of AKP deputy İbrahim Halil Yıldız to the hospital, where they were ultimately killed. Eight more people were injured during clashes between the two groups. An older brother of Yıldız was also killed.

Two other sons of the Şenyaşars, Ferit and Fadıl, who were injured but survived and were later detained, and Fadıl Şenyaşar was arrested. However, none of Yıldız’s relatives or his bodyguards were detained immediately after the incident, despite the fact that three people from the Şenyaşar family had died.

It was only 15 months later, on September 18, 2020, that Yıldız’s older brother Enver Yıldız was arrested.

According to Mezopotamya, an indictment that was drafted after the Urfa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into Emine Şenyaşar on charges of “insulting a public officer” seeks a jail sentence of up to four years for her.

The indictment, which claims that Şenyaşar insulted Yıldız on June 2, the 86th day of a sit-in she and her son Ferit Şenyaşar have been staging in front of the Şanlıurfa Courthouse in an attempt to seek justice for the three members of their family, was accepted by the Urfa 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.

The first hearing of the trial is set for Nov. 12.

Emine Şenyaşar was also briefly detained on March 15, the seventh day of the sit-in, on the same charges.

Three months after Yıldız’s arrest an indictment was drafted; however, the details of Esvet Şenyaşar’s death were not included. Moreover, the attack in the hospital was not included in the indictment, with only the events in the store covered, according to local media reports.

The Yıldız family claimed the Kurdish Şenyaşar family had links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and that they had been victims of terrorism.

Members of the Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD), the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) and several bar associations have lent support to the Şenyaşar family.

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