Figen Yüksekdağ: The people of Turkey are under siege
Former HDP Co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ, held hostage in prison, spoke to Vanity Fair Italy.
Yüksekdağ spoke to Vanity Fair Italy through her lawyers and talked about how Turkish society has changed and the cultural/democratic regression affected all women.
“It’s not just the country that is changing, it is the whole of society,” said Yüksekdağ. “There have always been nationalist and religious strands in Turkey, but now they have come together in a dangerous alliance and found new legitimacy among the people. If nobody tries to stop them, this time they will have dire consequences.”
Yüksekdağ continued: “We witness the status of women worsen by the day in Turkey. The most fundamental rights have already been violated. The 2016 coup and the State of Emergency has affected the activities of hundreds of associations that helped victims of physical and psychological violence negatively. Kurdish women in particular have paid a great price. Right now we have 9 MPs, 35 mayors and thousands of members in prison.
The age for mandatory education was lowered, and the number of girls aged 13 and 14 who leave school are on the rise. Meanwhile, women’s participation in the economic sphere in the country has decreased.
June 24 poses a great test of an election for Turkey. And the