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Besra Erol lost his on Evrim Deniz Erol in the 2015 Suruç Massacre, where 33 people lost their lives and more than 100 were injured. She was arrested because of the speech she made at her son’s funeral.
She has been sentenced to seven years in prison and sent to the Muş E-Type Prison.
After that, the Suruç Families Initiative held a press statement at the Human Rights Association (İHD) in İstanbul. Erol’s sister, the families of those who lost their lives in the massacre, Peoples’ Democratic Congress (DTK) Co-Spokesperson Sedat Şenoğlu, and Mehmet Acettin from the İHD İstanbul Branch Commission for Prisons.
In the name of the Suruç Families, Emrah Topaloğlu read the statement, saying, “Try the killers, not the mothers.”
Reminding that it has been almost four years since the Suruç Massacre, Topaloğlu said they have still been waiting for the perpetrators to be tried.
“Despite our insistence, all of the perpetrators have not been tried,” he said.
“On the contrary, those who want justice for Suruç began to be tried. Throughout these four years, our friends who were injured in Suruç were arrested, our case lawyers were arrested, our friends who want justice were arrested.
“Attending the funerals, commemoration events of those who were killed in Suruç were put in the case files as an offense. The graves of Osman Çiçek and Kasım Deprem were vandalized. The grave of Süleyman Aksu was vandalized for six times in two years. The perpetrators who attacked the graves are not caught.
“Instead of that, a lawsuit was filed against Besra Erol on the ground of a speech she made at her son’s funeral. She has been given a 7-year prison term and put in the Muş Type-E Prison.
“The sentence given to mother Besra is in fact given to the Suruç families’ struggle for justice. It is not possible to accept the given sentence. We want the perpetrators of the massacre to be tried, not the Suruç families.”
After Topaloğlu, Uğur Özkan, the brother of Süleyman Özkan who lost his life in Suruç, made a speech.
“We are getting arrested instead of the killers. We are the victims of the massacre, not them. The killers not being tried but being backed raises suspicions,” he said.
“What can be more natural than a mother’s lament at her son’s grave? Can a mother be tried for this reason?” he asked.
Besra Erol’s sister then spoke, saying, “I want justice.” (HA/VK)