HDP MPs march for Istanbul Convention in Istanbul


İSTANBUL - Female deputies of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) marched on Taksim Istiklal Avenue on the anniversary of the introduction of the Istanbul Convention.

HDP MPs Serpil Kemalbay, Dilşat Canbaz, Züleyha Gülüm and Oya Ersoy organized a march in Taksim, Istanbul on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Istanbul Convention, which was recently abolished by the AKP-MHP government. During the march under the police blockade, the female lawmakers carried banners that read, “We do not give up the Istanbul Convention, the Istanbul Convention keeps alive” and “In the first 4 months of 2021, 106 women were murdered”. They also shouted the slogans: “We are not silent, we are not afraid, we do not obey” and “Jin jiyan Azadî” (Woman, Life, Freedom).
The deputies ended the march in Galatasaray Square where they made a statement. HDP MP Züleyha Gülüm reminded that the Istanbul Convention, which is a contract signed as a result of the struggle for freedom of women, is 10 years old.
“The Istanbul Convention also promotes means of eliminating male domination. It is actually a mechanism that protects women against male violence and the male state. It is a convention that seeks to eliminate the mechanisms caused by violence yet before violence occurs. It is a convention that proposes to eliminate the gender inequality which -it says- must be implemented effectively," Gülüm said.
Gülüm emphasized that the government of Turkey waged war on women by abolishing the convention. She noted that the citizens of Turkey are faced with a government that tries to transform women into acceptable women, forces them to submit to violence and jails women who fight for women's liberation against it. Pointing out that male state violence targets especially Kurdish women, Gülüm added, “The Istanbul Convention is ours; we will never give it up, we will protect the convention and we will struggle for its effective implementation. We won't be your acceptable women.”
Speaking after, Serpil Kemalbay remarked that millions of women actually wanted to be on the street today but could not come due to the ban imposed by the government, which has turned the epidemic into an opportunity. Kemalbay expressed that the government, which does not impose any ban regarding the protests against Israel, prevents women from taking to the streets. “The government is afraid of women and fears that the HDP will continue to be the voice of women”, she emphasized.