Mother who received her son's body by post: Do not surrender!

Halise Aksoy received her son's bones in a post package in 2020. She was arrested last week. Her first message was "Don't surrender to those in power".

In a photo taken a few years ago, Halise Aksoy is seen with a package on her knees. Inside the package were the bones of her guerrilla son, Agit İpek.

İpek, who joined the People’s Defence Forces (HPG) in 2010, fell as a martyr in an armed conflict in 2017. His family waited for the DNA results for three years.

Aksoy did not know what was inside the package until she received it from the Diyarbakır Courthouse in April 2020.

Aksoy said: "While I was waiting for the official documents, they showed a package lying on the floor and told me, 'Your bones have arrived'. I was petrified. They delivered my son's bones by post. I took the package after signing the official papers and went home by taxi.”

However, state officials were not satisfied with delivering her son’s bones in a package and continued to persecute the mother systematically.

A few months after the package delivery, Aksoy's house was raided by the police on December 24, 2020. Her house was messed up, and photos of her children were confiscated.

On March 4 and May 18 in 2022, Aksoy was detained after being subjected to violence and later released.

The Turkish government, the judiciary and the police did not find this much pressure and torture sufficient.

Aksoy was among those who were detained in the Amed-based police operations carried out in 21 cities on April 25, 2023. On April 28, she was arrested along with her daughter Mızgin Karataş on the charge of "being a member of a (terrorist) organization".

According to a report from the Mezopotamya News Agency, Aksoy said in her first message from prison: "Don't surrender to those in power."

Her son-in-law Harun Karataş, who was released after being detained along with mother Halise Aksoy and her daughter Mızgin, described the police raid: “Police officers arrived at around 06.00 in the morning, they were both official and plainclothes police. We reside with Halise mother. A little further from Halise mother's house, the police raided another place where we used to reside. Even though no one was there, they broke the door and entered inside. They raided Halise mother's house as well. They detained us based on only one witness statement. In fact, we are not strangers to the persecution of state officials.”

Harun Karataş (37) who lives with his 4-year-old son Çiya, added: "When Halise mother was arrested, she said, 'Don't surrender to them,' in a message she sent to her daughter. She said that she would resist this way in prison. This is a message for those of us who are outside prison. We have seen every kind of persecution and we have never submitted. We will never submit.”

Halise Aksoy's lawyer, Necat Çiçek revealed that her client was arrested based on the statements of witness Ümit Akbıyık. The lawyer said: "The accusation against Halise Aksoy is based on Ümit Akbıyık's statements. She is also accused of using her home as a 'safe house'. Her phone calls with journalists are considered as a crime. When asked about her son Agit, Halise mother replied to a court: "My son was martyred." The court asked her to explain the concept of 'martyrdom'. She replied: 'My son is a martyr for me'. The mother chanted the slogan 'Biji Kurdistan' (Long live Kurdistan) after the court decided to arrest her. She told her daughter Mizgin: "Don't surrender to them."