Amed Newroz Committee: More than one million people gathered against isolation

The Amed Newroz Organizing Committee said that despite massive government crackdown, more than 1 million people gave a message against isolation during the 2022 Newroz celebrations.

The Amed (Diyarbakır) Newroz Organizing Committee held a press conference at the New Garden Hotel about the Newroz celebration held in the city on March 21 with the participation of more than one million people. Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies Dersim Dağ and Remziye Tosun also attended the meeting.

“People were battered. Hundreds of them were detained. Despite everything, security forces could not prevent millions from entering the area,” HDP provincial Co-Chair Zeyyat Ceylan said.


“Hundreds of police officers were deployed around the stage to prevent us from doing our job. However, we express our gratitude to the people of Amed. They rejected oppression, detentions and arrests. They (the state) attacked our language, culture and existence. However, these attacks were frustrated in the 2022 Newroz celebrations,” Ceylan said.

Ceylan remarked that the demands highlighted in the Newroz declaration announced on March 10 by the parties of the Kurdistan Alliance Initiative were renewed during the Newroz celebrations; removal of the isolation of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, achievement of his physical freedom, establishment of national unity for the freedom of the Kurds, recognition of the Kurdish language as a language of education, release of sick prisoners and promotion of democratic politics. “These demands were the main demands of the Newroz celebrations,” he added.


HDP Amed Provincial Co-Chair Gülistan Atasoy emphasized that the celebration took place despite all kinds of provocative attempts by the state authorities. “The call for an end to the assimilation policies on the Kurdish people's cultural identity has been renewed. The people of Amed have shown that they embraced the will for the ending of bans on the Kurdish language and its recognition as a language of education,” she said.

Atasoy stated that her party had assigned 600 people to ensure security in the celebration area, but they were not allowed by the state authorities. She pointed out that “anti-Kurdish and misogynist" policies of the government were nullified in this year’s Newroz.


HDP member lawyer Serhat Eren said that the government crackdown started even before the Newroz celebrations. Eren revealed that 24 women were detained before the celebrations and 11 of them were remanded in custody. Search warrants were issued for 36 women politicians, 17 of whom were then detained. "Our friends were prevented from participating in the Newroz celebrations,” Eren said.

The lawyer also remarked that the police did not allow numerous people into the area, citing traditional colourful dresses and bandages. He noted that there were also detentions over the dresses and bandages. Eren mentioned the talks held with the security authorities before the celebrations and cited them as saying that checkpoints would be increased to make the entrances comfortable for the participants. “However, policemen intervened with gas and batons. Despite this, people made it to the Newroz area,” he added.

Eren noted that there is a de facto ban on Newroz, noting that nearly 500 people were detained on Newroz Day and 80 of them were minors. The detainees were taken to different police stations and kept outside in cold weather for hours. Eren added that they would prepare a detailed report in the coming days. The lawyer disclosed that some of the children were released in the evening, some at night, and some were released after their blood samples were taken.