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Women in Turkey issue rallying cry for solidarity

Ankara Women’s Platform call for action ahead of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

WOMEN’S organisations fighting misogyny and femicide in Turkey appealed for international solidarity and action today in the run-up to next Wednesday’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Speaking at a press conference hosted by the Health and Social Service Workers Union, Ankara Women’s Platform spokeswoman Fatma Kilicarslan paid tribute to those resisting male violence across the world and gave details of a planned demonstration in the Turkish capital.

"Male violence, which has surrounded us throughout history in the geography we live in, continues increasingly with the misogynist policies of the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government. 

“From Turkey to Rojava, from Argentina to Iran and from India to Poland, women are fighting for their rights, their bodies and their lives,” she said.

Ms Kilicarslan said that 12 women had been killed by men in the last week alone, while the “male-dominated state” did everything to protect the perpetrators.

According to the We Will End Femicide Platform, at least 285 women have been killed in Turkey this year, with the real figure believed to be much higher as cases go unreported or are covered up by the state.

The situation is worsening, Ms Kilicarslan said, due to the government’s plan to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, which is encouraging men to believe that they can act with impunity.

She said that women are “raising their struggle on the streets” to ensure that the state cannot get away with protecting those who murder or rape women.

Protests swept the country following a number of high-profile cases, including that of Kurdish teenager Ipek Er, who was kidnapped and repeatedly raped over a 20-day period by Turkish army sergeant Musa Orhan.

But women protesting against femicide and in defence of the Istanbul Convention have been violently attacked by Turkish state forces and many taken into custody. 

Ms Kilicarslan also said that female workers are also the first to be sacked in Turkey’s deepening economic crisis.

She said that war was being spread all over the world by the imperialist powers, but was deepening in the Middle East, where there is a “special war policy against the Kurdish people.” 

Women’s demonstrations are often obstructed and physically attacked by police. British women have been working closely with their sisters in Turkey and have launched a “chain of solidarity” appeal in advance of next week’s event.

The Communist Party of Britain and the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign are linking with the Ankara Women’s Platform and calling on trade unionists and progressives to record short videos or take photographs with messages of solidarity for the women in Turkey.

The hashtags for the day, November 25, are: KadinlarinSesiYankilansin MayTheVoicesOfWomenResonate.


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