Murders and violence against women originating from the policies of the AKP government in Northern Kurdistan and Turkey continue. Hundreds of women are murdered by men every year. According to the Platform to Stop Murders of Women, at least 474 women were killed in 2019 alone. In 2018 the women murdered had been 440 women and in 2016, 304.
TJA activist Figen Ekti talked about violence against women and the work carried out for 8 March International Working Women’s Day.
Stating that the murders of women are political, Ekti added: “Violence, murder and rape of women and children are the result of state policies.”
Ekti said: “The state mentality is the perpetuation of the sovereign mentality which had been implemented for thousands of years. If the woman is exploited once in the world, she is exploited 10 times more in Kurdistan. She is exposed to 10 times more violence. Violence against women has reached a universal dimension. Women are the target of the dominant powers all over the world. When a woman is attacked, what are attacked are also the values of society.”
Murders in Kurdistan are not accidental
Ekti underlined where women’s struggle has arrived and added: “When we look at the struggles in the world, we see that the women’s struggle has been halved as a result of the attacks. With the development of the freedom struggle in Kurdistan, the attacks on women have increased, because the state is a danger to women’s freedom. We are talking about 29 serhildans (rebellions).”
Murders of women in Kurdistan are not ordinary nor accidental murders. In the 1990s, thousands of people were killed in what have been called “unsolved” murders. The sovereign powers, who are not content with the murder of women, their rape and violence, are now targeting universities to bring women and youth down. The incident in Dersim is not a coincidence. There is an attack on Kurdish youth in the person of Gülistan Doku [a student who disappeared a few weeks ago]. Now women are missing in other cities. Those who carried out these attacks against women are working in state institutions, police and state officers. Threat and rape are state policy.”
All women in the world should unite against violence
Etki added: “Kurdistan, Turkey and the Middle East women from time to time organizes conferences and conventions and met in certain activities. But these is not enough. No matter where in the world if a woman is harassed, raped or murdered the society should react. Therefore, civil society organizations should not remain silent about these attacks. If we do not object to this, the attacks will continue.”
8 March activities to begin on 27 February
Ekti spoke then about the activities planned for 8 March International Working Women’s Day. “Our 8 March work continues with great enthusiasm and excitement. Thousands of women are involved in these work. We are doing our work by visiting villages, neighborhoods, and all women’s places. This year we will start the 8th of March in Dersim. We made such a decision for all women who were attacked as Gülistan Doku was attacked.”
This year the activities related to 8 March will begin on 27 February. “Women’s gains were not easily achieved, – said Etki – many prices were paid for these values. Women also strongly hold on to these values. Women are strong together. We must act together to universalize women’s struggle in Turkey and Kurdistan.”