September 17 2020
Women in Turkey tried to directly communicate with President Erdoğan and convey their demands through the Presidential Communications Center. In a period of 30 days, from the replies we received, we understand that our demands were not sent to the president.
It should be asked to President Erdoğan, “Those religious interpretations that you found malevolent five years ago are now praiseworthy. Is that the reason the Istanbul Convention is now being debated? Will the right to live and women’s rights be submitted for the approval of the enemies of women?
Male violence is rising. Unfortunately, in quarantine days, the fight against violence has been made much more ineffective than before. It is not at all difficult, after all, to imagine the problems created by a perpetrator and a victim of violence staying in the same house.
The child sexual abusers, sexual offenders and other offenders of violence against women are within the scope of the amnesty which is in front of the Turkish Parliament. Those who have used their right to thought and expression are outside the scope of the amnesty. I don’t know if one can imagine a bigger shame than this bill for the parliament.
In the recent Elazığ earthquake in eastern Turkey, the aid brought by pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) municipalities were turned down. This is a clear sign that we have not moved an inch forward in our humanitarian journey. Stories about Kızılay are very much the same as they were years ago; there seems to be no change in terms of institutional deterioration, as you can see. Everything people were fed up with on that day in 1999 is now being repeated in the hands of AKP. If certain people assume popular support is continuing like it did after AKP first came to power, they are wrong.
The AKP intends to give amnesty for the crime of child sexual abuse under the guise of regulating criminal sentences. According to the press statement given by women protesters, "Introducing unlawful, arbitrary reductions to the penalties for child sexual abuse brings impunity. It normalizes a crime. It legitimizes it. Early and forced marriages would become widespread."
As defiant women gain ground in all spheres of society and in parliament, patriarchal political rulers are attempting to rise above the law and the constitution. With a demonstration staged by female MPs from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the lyrics of the “Las Tesis” chant echoed in the general assembly hall and even made it to the minutes of the parliament. It was such a milestone that Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu reacted bitterly stating that if the parliament would allow the MPs to carry on with their protests, he, “as the Interior Minister and despite the law and the constitution, would use his rights in the broadest sense”.
How many working police officers were present for every woman who was at the protest in Kadıköy last Sunday? Why did the police intervene into a gathering of women who were peacefully exercising their right to demonstration, who were protesting male violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse of children and femicide? Why were women battered with the police's disproportionate use of force?
As embodied by the stance of judge Dursun Genel, opposition to Turkey's injunction laws against violence has been gaining ground recently. Yet removing these injunctions will only cause more femicides.
The initiative of the Kurdish families to save and to return home their sons and daughters who took to the mountains to join the outlawed PKK, is the sign that a new stage has been reached to link HDP with terror. So to speak, a fresh blood is trying to be injected to the failed policy.