On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, we as Solidarity with OTHERS reaffirm our commitment to striving to achieve gender equality, and to fighting against all kinds of gender-based violence and discrimination against women.
Gender inequality, discriminatory practices and femicides remain bitter realities of today’s world; problems that transcend national, social and cultural lines.
Turkey is no exception. In 2019, a total of 479 femicides took place in the country. Research data shows that more than 15 million women confirm having suffered from physical violence at some point in their lives, which account for 36% of the country’s female population.
In addition to violence from spouses, partners and family members; women in Turkey are also the target of systematic violence at the hands of authorities.
Thousands of women continue to be prosecuted and incarcerated on political grounds, while peaceful protests organized by women are consistently met with police violence.
Their trials being conducted by a judicial system with a well-documented lack of independence and impartiality that has been recognized by all credible observers.
We consider this day as an opportunity to remember those women who have been held behind bars simply for standing up against the government.
We remember journalist Ayşenur Parıldak, who has been imprisoned for more than three and a half years on account of her journalistic work and social media posts.
We remember politician Figen Yüksekdağ, who has been imprisoned for more than three years for her political activities as the head of a Kurdish political party.
We remember Halime Gülsu, a young teacher who lost her life in prison after being deprived of her medication by authorities.
On this day, it is also important to express our support and solidarity to the brave women in Turkey who refuse to give up their fight for human rights and justice. We especially applaud Acun Karadağ, Melek Çetinkaya and Natali Avazyan whose courageous activism has been an inspiration for all of us.
Lastly, we strongly condemn the torture and ill-treatment of a group of female university students in detention since 28 February in Ankara and call on the international observers to put pressure on the Turkish government to stop the despicable practice.