Imprisoned Diyarbakir co-mayor Gultan Kisanak has sent a message from prison in which she has called for women’s solidarity.
Kisanak, who is jailed pending trial in Kandira Women’s Prison in Turkey’s western city Kocaeli, sent the message on a card with a picture of Diyarbakir’s Sur district on it.
The card is a response to a letter sent to Kisanak on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, but was only recently given to the long time activist and politician. Kisanak’s response was shared with the public today on the same day more than 2 million marched around the world against “the racist, sexist and threatening rhetoric used by Donald Trump during the election campaign in the USA.”
Kisanak’s message is below:
“Dear women, I embrace all of you one by one, and send my love and greetings. Receiving your postcards and letters, although one month belatedly, and feeling the solidarity of women, is a very good sentiment.
I thank all the women for the friendship and solidarity they offer, and for the struggle they give. I have also received the cards sent by women from TMMOB and KESK. I am sending you a rainbow. When we all stand together side by side with all our diversities, it is so nice, just like the rainbow.
There is no glue, scissors or coloured pen. Why would a coloured pen ever be banned? I will never understand. Fortunately, I have colourful papers. I thought they would be a rainbow when you hang them side by side on the wall. If there is light, there are also colours. Darkness kills colours. This is a law of nature. Now, the darkness wants to cow us into submission and eliminate all the colours. We will not surrender to darkness. We will build a colourful and bright future through women’s solidarity and women’s perspective.
With friendship and love.”
Kisanak and her co-mayor Firat Anli were detained on 25 October and imprisoned five days later on charges of membership to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The mayors were later replaced by a state appointed trustee.
The former MP was also imprisoned after the 1980 military coup, during which she was subjected to torture and sexual violence.