HDP deputies protest against femicide

HDP deputies walked out of a meeting of the Parliamentary Commission for Gender Equality leaving behind posters with the names of 106 women who died in the first four months of this year.

Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) members of the parliamentary Commission on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men protested Thursday against Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu when he gave a presentation on violence against women to the committee.

"Soylu has wasted two and a half hours of the country"

HDP deputy Filiz Kerestecioğlu addressed the minister during the session, criticizing Soylu for "wasting two and a half hours of the whole country" with his "reply" to mob boss Sedat Peker's accusations in a live broadcast. The interior minister is currently the focus of a mafia scandal involving his involvement in drug trafficking and organized crime, among other things.

Kerestecioğlu was warned for "deviating from the commission's agenda." In response to the warning, the politician said, "They can warn, I can criticize. They can't obstruct, that's called repression."

"We have 21 questions"

Further, Kerestecioğlu stressed that the HDP will not allow "the sexist language created by the government to be legitimized in politics and in the Commission for the Fight against Violence against Women." Turning to Interior Minister Soylu, she said, "We have prepared 21 questions here. We have submitted them to the chairperson of the commission, who will give you the questions. Since you don't like to answer questions so much, we submitted them specially in written form."

Referring to the graphs and posters shown by Soylu on previous occasions, she said, "We also have posters. In the first four months of 2021, 106 women were murdered. We leave their names here. They sometimes don't remember the names of women."

"Women will continue to be murdered as long as patriarchal policies remain"

Regarding the Interior Ministry's system for supporting women in distress (KADES), the MP said, "You can talk about KADES all you want, but KADES has not saved women either." She criticized Soylu for supporting false claims of "decreasing violence against women" after Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention. The MP continued, "We want a clean society, we want clean politics and a clean judiciary. We know that people in this country have no more patience. We know that women will continue to be killed as long as the dirty and sexist structure of patriarchal politics remains."

"All you want to do is look at the sky because the face of the earth is so dirty"

Kerestecioğlu also spoke about Soylu's statement that "there is no torture or unsolved murders" in Turkey. She ended her speech with a recent social media post by Türkan Elçi, the wife of Tahir Elçi, the chairman of the Amed Bar Association, who was shot dead by police officers: "Petrified in the face of this simple statement, all you want to do is look at the sky because the face of the earth is so dirty."

After Kerestecioğlu's speech, HDP deputies left the posters with the names of 106 women murdered by men in the first four months of 2021 on the tables and left the commission room in protest.