Politicians from Turkey's opposition came out in support of women's solidarity on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, as Ankara has been under fire for their seemingly ineffective methods to combat the crimes.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu drew outrage in recent days with his remarks that "violence against women is a shame," with women stressing that femicides are a crime, not a shame.
During a parliamentary group meeting speech on Nov. 25, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a tongue slip and deemed the day a "Day against women" by accident, prompting many social media users to say it was in fact a "Freudian slip," a situation where a person says what they truly mean by accident.
Women's organization Mor Dayanışma shared a clip of the moment with the caption "Yes we know very well that you are against women."
Evet kadınlara karşısınız çok iyi biliyoruz. pic.twitter.com/9OmN9moTpp— MorDayanışma (@DayanismaMor) November 25, 2020
At least 7,600 women were slain during the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) time in office, while some 1.6 million restraining orders were filed in the past seven years, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Tekin Bingöl reported.
Opposition Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener shared an informative video about the different types of violence inflicted upon women in daily life.
"We will not stop fighting against the corrupt mentality that normalizes violence against women, for a Turkey where our women are not subject to any form of violence," Akşener said.
Kadınlarımızın,— Meral Akşener (@meral_aksener) November 25, 2020
Aile içerisinde veya sosyal hayatında hiçbir şiddet türüne maruz kalmadığı bir Türkiye için;
Kadına şiddeti normalleştiren bu kirli zihniyetle mücadele etmekten vazgeçmeyeceğiz.#25KasımKadınaSiddeteHayır pic.twitter.com/vRrUqHey3W
Meanwhile, female politicians put behind bars by the AKP government sent messages from Kocaeli High-Security Prison to mark the day, slamming the patriarchy and encouraging women's fight for equality.
"I salute the united women who fight to turn the regime of violence, death, and torture that's imposed on us into a system of life and freedom," said pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) former co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ.
Imprisoned for "terrorist propaganda," the politician said that women discover new ways to combat all violence, and that "women's awakening consciousness will rewrite history."
Women want real justice, not the male state's understanding of it, former Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Sebahat Tuncel said.
Tuncel noted that women are expanding their resistance and fight to protect their hard-earned rights, most importantly the Istanbul Convention, officially the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
The AKP has been debating withdrawing from the convention, prompting outrage nationwide, including within the party itself.
"Women say 'Em xwe diparêzen' (roughly 'we defend ourselves' in Kurdish) against all discrimination, harassment, rape, massacre, invasion, and exile," Tuncel said. "We march against fascism with our laughter, dance, and growing power. Us in here, you out there..."
Women have always fought against patriarchal oppression in all walks of life, former Diyarbakır co-mayor from Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Gültan Kışanak, said.
"The patriarchy draws boundaries around us women since the moment we are born, even builds up walls. Us women know from life experience that boundaries are there to cross, and walls to be torn down," former Dersim co-mayor from the BDP, Edibe Şahin, said.
The reason why the female politicians in question are imprisoned is their defense of women's rights and their opposition to state and male violence, former HDP deputy Çağlar Demirel said.
"Women are most affected by the policies of the AKP government. The current administration is afraid of women," Demirel said. "We are in here as political hostages, but our fight and resistance continue, and it will in the future too."
Meanwhile, former HDP deputy Gülser Yıldırım said that she categorically rejects the term "violence against women."
"Violence against women is violence against life's beauty, truth, and essence. It's targeting everything and everyone that is good," Yıldırım said.
Former HDP Deputy Aysel Tuğluk said that she believes women can stop all attacks on them with their solidarity.