The Kurdish Free Women’s Congress (Kongreya Jinen Azad, KJA) held a press conference at the Cegerxwin Cultural Center in Diyarbakir (Amed) announcing the initiation of a campaign calling on the freedom of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, who has not been seen since 5 April 2015.
The press conference was attended by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Group Deputy Chair Çağlar Demirel, Democratic Regions Party (DBP) Co-chair Sebahat Tuncel, DTK Co-chair Leyla Güven, KJA Spokesperson Ayla Akat Ata, artist Mizgîn Tahir, as well as many HDP members, Peace Mothers, representatives of women’s organisations in Diyarbakir and many women.
KJA Spokesperson Ayla Akat Ata read the press release after a minute’s silence for the people who have lost their lives in the struggle for democracy and freedom.
Indicating the current historic process and the “freedom struggle that has started in the Middle East and is extending all around the world”, Ata said “women are the main actors in the Syria-oriented struggle and also those who are paying the heaviest price for freedom”.
Ata also stressed that the main cause of the chaos in Turkey at the moment was the insistence on not understanding “the struggle waged by the Kurdish people for 40 years and the rejection of the Democratic Republic project developed by Öcalan with great efforts”.
Recalling that the Turkish state had responded to the declaration of self-rule by the Kurdish people for a democratic resolution with the demolition of cities and war crimes against people, Ata said this situation had resulted in the emergence cliques within the state, pro-war factions and conflicts between state institutions, which had led to the coup attempt.
Ata said, “Kurdish women believe negotiations with Öcalan must be initiated not in Imralı prison but under free conditions, unless this happens every political system in Turkey will face collapse.”
Stressing that Öcalan’s freedom also meant the resolution of problems in Turkey, Ata pointed out that every threat and malpractice regarding his health and security damaged the relations between Kurdish and Turkish people.
Launching the ‘I claim my Leader, Land and Freedom’ campaign, Ata called upon all the women and women’s organisations in Turkey to establish and advance a democracy front for a united and free system.
Ata also commented on the AKP government’s new construction plan for the cities and towns destroyed by state forces, saying; “During this process, we have once again seen that you cannot achieve anything or create value unless your political identity and rights are guaranteed as a people. In this regard, the Kurdish people have grown stronger in the face of this truth taught by relentless attacks and the government’s policy of destruction.”
Ata also invited all women to rebuild the cities and life in villages, towns and cities on the basis of solidarity.
The events and activities included in the campaign to last six months are as follows;
* Women’s meetings will be held in every neighborhood and panel discussions in 16 cities till September 1 with the motto “Every public meeting is an act”.
* ‘Freedom for the leader’ vigils will be initiated in Istanbul, Diyarbakir (Amed) and Van (Wan) provinces under the leadership of the Peace Mothers’ Assembly.
* Women’s rallies will be organised in Batman (Êlih), Diyarbakir, Van, Mardin (Mêrdîn) and Istanbul during the months of September and October with the motto “I claim my Leader, Land and Freedom”.
* Reconstruction and solidarity efforts will be re-planned with all the women’s organisations in Şirnak (Şirnex), Nusaybin (Nisêbîn), Sur and Yüksekova (Gever) with the motto “All land is the homeland”.