New book chronicles Saturday Mothers' decades-long story

A new book by journalist Serdar Korucu sheds light on the decades-long struggle of the "Saturday Mothers," a group who have gathered every Saturday in Istanbul to demand answers and justice for their missing relatives.

Mainly composed of mothers of victims, the group combines silent sit-in with communal vigil as their method of protest against the forced disappearances and political murders in Türkiye during the military coup-era of the 1980s and the subsequent state of emergency.

Korucu's work features interviews with 22 relatives of the 18 missing people who vanished while in custody.

"They take your most precious and destroy them. Then they want you to forget about it, to give up," Besna Tosun, whose father Fehmi Tosun disappeared in 1995, shares her pain in the book.

The Saturday Mothers' first sit-in took place on May 27, 1995, a moment that marked the beginning of what will become the country's longest-running protest.

They prepare to commemorate their thousandth week of protest on May 25.

Through research and interviews, Korucu traces the history of the Saturday Mothers, drawing from newspaper clippings and television archives to provide an account of their struggle.

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