Amed: “We defend life against femicide; freedom against isolation”

"As long as we women exist, fascism will not be able to institutionalize in this country," said Kurdish politician Saliha Aydemir at the March 8 rally in Amed.


Under the slogan " We defend life against femicide; freedom against isolation" thousands of women in the Kurdish resistance stronghold Amed (Diyarbakir) have today celebrated the International Women's Day March 8. The gathering, organised by the Dicle Amed Women's Platform (DAKP), an alliance consisting of the women's movement TJA, the Council of Young Women of the HDP, the Council of Progressive Women, the Rosa Women's Association and the Women's Academy, took place at the station square, and the police were present with a massive contingent as well as armored vehicles and water cannons.

The rally started with atmospheric dances to loud Kurdish music. Songül Kapancı gave the opening speech on behalf of the organizing committee and said: "We salute all the pioneers who fought for women's rights before us and paved the way for us, all the resisters in prisons, those women who beautify life with their struggles and all the companions who gave their lives in resistance. We are here and together, walking our path together and approaching free life with every step.”

After Kapancı's speech, a message from the World Women's March was read, which read, “The pandemic shows us how unstable neoliberal capitalism is. This virus of inequality demonstrates the urgency for which women have been fighting for years: Destroy this system to defend life. Our struggles are one; for a feminist economy, solidarity, networking, independence, autonomy and people’s power. We fight for a world free from exploitation and hierarchies around the world on March 8 and every day of the year. We resist to live and walk our path to change."

In her speech, MP Saliha Aydemir, who is also the co-chair of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), emphasized that the women of Kurdistan would never turn away from their opposition to patriarchal violence and state rape culture, and for recognition of feminicide as a crime against humanity. Aydemir saluted her imprisoned "companions" Ayşe Gökkan, Leyla Güven, Figen Yüksekdağ, Gültan Kışanak and Sebahat Tuncel, who -she said- are behind bars "solely because they defended gender parity, the principle of gender equality and freedom."

The parliamentarian went on to denounce the AKP/MHP government's anti-Kurdish, anti-women and "exclusively war and conflict-oriented" policies and attested to the presidential palace's "chronic fear of women," which has again been evident in the recent waves of arrests. In addition, Aydemir pointed to the complete disenfranchisement and "inhumane" conditions in Turkish prisons, as well as the hunger strike of political prisoners against it.

"This resistance, which at the same time is directed against the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan on Imrali, has continued for 102 days. We too will not back down from our demand to lift the isolation. For us, every day is March 8. As long as there are us fighting women, fascism will not be able to institutionalize in this country. We are determined to end the isolation on Imrali."