EP Türkiye Rapporteur Nacho Sanchez Amor will visit the Saturday Mothers/People’s vigil as an observer


Nacho Sánchez Amor, the Standing Rapporteur of the European Parliament (EP) on Türkiye, will visit the vigil of the Saturday Mothers/People in Galatasaray Square in İstanbul on December 2 as an observer. 

Photo: Vincent Van Doornick © European Union 2019 – Source : EP

Nacho Sánchez Amor had met with representatives of the Saturday Mothers/People, Human Rights Association (İHD) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT/TİHV) at the European Parliament last October. Following the meeting, İHD and HRFT invited Nacho  Sánchez Amor to Turkey in line with the principles of Guidelines on Monitoring the Freedom of Peaceful Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), of which Turkey is a participating state as a founding member. Accepting these invitation, Sanchez Amor will meet the 975th vigil of Saturday Mothers/People on December 2 in Galatasaray Square as an observer. 

About Nacho Sánchez Amor 

Nacho Sánchez Amor is a member of EP since 2019. He has been serving on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Human Rights, Delegation to the EU-Türkiye Joint Parliamentary Committee, Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly. 

Sánchez Amor, who monitored the June 2015 elections as Head of the Electoral Observation Mission of the OSCE PA in Turkey, has been the EP’s Standing Rapporteur on Turkey since September 2019. 

About Saturday Mothers/People

In a period that enforced disappearances increased rapidly in 1990’s Turkey, on 27 May 1995, a group of people gathered at Galatasaray Square in İstanbul to ask the fate of their forcibly disappeared loved ones. They met at the same place every Saturday to demand the truth and the justice, thus they called Saturday Mothers/People. 

After their 700th week vigil on 25 August 2018, on which the police violently dispersed them by using tear gas agents and detained many of them, Galatasaray Square has been banned to Saturday Mothers/People. Despite the Constitutional Court’s judgement concerning the use of excessive force to disperse peaceful vigil is a violation of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, Beyoğlu district governor’s office and the police continued to prevent the Saturday Mothers/People’s vigils. They and those who support them were prevented every Saturday and detained with torture and ill-treatment. 

Following the persistence of the Saturday Mothers/People and the increasing calls from national and international community, Galatasaray Square partially reopened to them at the 971. week vigil on November 4, 2023. However, the judgements of the Constitutional Court are still not implemented as restrictions on the vigils and the police blockade around the square continue.