HDP, YSP hold rally in Turkey’s Diyarbakır to mark International Day of Peace

The opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and its backup Green Left Party (YSP) have held a rally in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır to mark the International Day of Peace.

Ardıl Batmaz, Evrim Deniz / Gazete Duvar

Turkey’s opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and its backup Green Left Party (YSP) on Sept. 1 held a rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s İstasyon Square.

Banners that read “We raise our voice against wars, we women want peace,” “We will win by resisting,” “Women are the guarantee of peace,” and “Forest fires are political” were hung in the rally area. 

Carrying banners “Freedom for female prisoners” and “Jin, Jiyan, Azadi,” (which means “Women, life, freedom” in Kurdish), women in the rally chanted “Political prisoners are our honor.”

Green Left Party Diyarbakır Provincial Co-Spokesperson Abbas Şahin made the first speech at the rally and said “We promised to these people that we will bring peace to these lands.” 

“For 100 years, nothing but blood and tears have been seen on these lands, in the Middle East. These lands need an honorable peace. For social peace, first there should be equality and freedom,” Şahin said.

Green Left Party Co-Spokesperson Çiğdem Kılıçgün Uçar said “Peace is not only the termination of death, but also the honor of life. It is loyalty to those we lost in the struggle for peace. It is not just the agreement signed at the tables. It is the equal and free life of all peoples. It is multilingual and multicultural.”

“We are the people of the geography that knows best the dichotomy of peace and war. The 100-year resistance of the Kurdish people continues to keep our hope for peace strong. This struggle cannot be stopped neither by the (ruling) AKP law nor by the murders of AKP law, nor by the war it has embraced. Wherever you do not want to see them, the Kurdish people will continue to be there, raising the voice of peace,” Uçar added.

Democratic Society Congress (DTK) co-chair Berdan Öztürk said “(Without solving) human rights, the Kurdish issue and isolation (imposed upon jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan), the Kurdish problem cannot be solved. The Kurdish issue does not only affect Turkey, but also the Middle East. Accept the peace offer made by Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Öcalan.”

On the other hand, women attending the rally spoke to Gazete Duvar to talk about the International Day of Peace.

Green Left Party lawmaker Beritan Güneş said “Today, we are still faced with a social reality in which bones (of the deceased people) are delivered to families in boxes. But with these facts and suffering, 1 September World Peace Day gains even more importance. From here, we want to give the following message from Amed: Peace is a necessity as much as bread and water, not only for the Kurdish people, but for all the peoples of Turkey and the world.”

Amine, one of the participants, said, “Wars primarily affect women. They pay the heaviest price. For this reason, women have struggled to establish peace in these lands for years. Because a free society created by an environment of peace is the biggest gain for women.”

Aklime Hanas, 62, said, "Two Peace Mothers died a few days ago while returning from giving testimony to a prosecutor. They devoted their lives to bringing peace. They passed away before they could see it. If so many mothers are chanting slogans for peace here despite all this cruelty, it means that we only want to live in peace in an equal, fair and free society.”

19-year-old Ayşe said, “We young women know that in a society where there is peace, there will be freedom in the streets, at home and in the workplace.”