Statement by HDP Women’s Assembly:
The AKP-MHP government's attacks on HDP and women in politics are increasing day by day. Thousands of party members, including co-chairs, deputies, executives and co-mayors, are in Turkish prisons. As you may know, a friend of ours, Aysel Tuğluk, is still unlawfully kept in prison, although she is suffering from dementia. Tuğluk is just one of the dozens of sick female prisoners.
In addition to the arrests and detentions against our party members and executives, there have also been physical attacks as a result of the government's criminalization policies against the HDP. Such policies have most recently led to the murder of a young woman, Deniz Poyraz, who was killed by an assailant’s gunfire as she worked in the HDP office in İzmir. We are now facing another provocation by the police, carried out right in front of the HDP’s headquarters in Ankara.
On the morning of 5 May 2022, three people, who claimed that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) had kidnapped their children, laid a black wreath in front of our party headquarters. They were accusing the HDP of their children’s kidnapping. They equate the HDP with the PKK and this is exactly the government’s discourse to criminalize and shut down the HDP before the next presidential elections. These three protestors were directed and controlled by the police. The police continued their provocative actions and blockaded our headquarters, even after the protestors had laid their wreath and walked away from the party building. When HDP deputies and members protested this police provocation, the police attacked them harshly. Our Spokesperson for Women’s Assembly, Batman MP Ms. Ayşe Acar Başaran, wanted to make a press statement against this attack, but she was, verbally attacked by a police officer. He threatened her saying “I’ll nail you on the wall.” The government, which withdrew from the Istanbul Convention and tries to prevent the right to alimony, made it clear with this violent incident that it has never recognized the right of women to be actively engaged in politics.
Late in the afternoon, the police attacked the protesting HDP members again. They tried to enter the headquarters and break down the doors, and they released pepper spray from close range at party members, including Ms. Başaran. 9 HDP members, including central executive board members, were battered and detained. They were released hours later after being interrogated.
HDP is a party which has 6 million voters and, in this respect, it is the third biggest party in the Turkish parliament. With these organized provocative attacks, not only HDP, but also millions of people who voted for it are criminalized. The reckless and aggressive attitude of the police towards our deputies clearly shows that they do not even recognize the will of millions of people. We have always stated that the HDP is a women's party. The government, well aware of this fact, blatantly attacks not only a political party but also the will of women.
The government should know that we, as women, will neither accept the unlawful Kobanî Case, where the destruction of the darkness of ISIS is on trial, nor bow to the threats made against us through the closure case. We will also never abandon politics.
We will continue to grow our struggle for democracy, freedom, and peace. Please do not remain silent in face of these brutal attacks on the HDP and raise your voice to stop such unabashed unlawfulness and injustice.
HDP Women's Assembly
8 May 2022