International Women's Delegation concludes its visits in Istanbul

The delegation of the International Women's Delegation, including lawyers, parliamentarians, ecologists and representatives of civil society organisations, ended their two-day talks in Istanbul with a visit to the HDK.

The 7-member International Women's Delegation, including lawyers, parliamentarians, ecologists and representatives of non-governmental organisations from various European countries, arrived in Turkey yesterday and visited Asrın Law Office, Human Rights Association (İHD), Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV), Saturday Mothers and Women Strong Together. The delegation, which continued its talks about isolation and rights violations in prisons for two days, visited the Women's Time Association and Thousands of Aysel Women's Initiative.

The President and members of the Women's Time Association welcomed the delegation. Newroz Ünverdi, a member of the association, explained the purpose of the establishment of their association and their work on Kurdish women. Ünverdi informed the delegation about the field study titled "Access of Kurdish Women Living in Istanbul to Mechanisms for Combating Violence in Their Mother Tongue", which they started on 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Ünverdi stated that Kurdish women could not reach the mechanisms of violence in their mother tongue, adding that women do not trust these mechanisms or the judiciary.

Dilek Başalan, President of the Association, talked about the joint struggle they are waging together with women. Noting that women are united around the slogan "Jin, Jiyan, Azadî" (Woman, Life, Freedom), Başalan said, "We are pushing for co-presidency by struggling together, we are frustrating the policies of the state."

The delegation then met with Thousands of Aysel Women's Initiative. During the visit, the problems faced by sick prisoners were discussed. Esra Çiftçi, one of the volunteers of the initiative, pointed to the situation of politician Aysel Tuğluk, whose execution of sentence was postponed due to dementia, and said, "Aysel is no longer in prison thanks to the struggle of women from different parts of the world. But there are thousands of sick prisoners like Aysel. We will never allow sick prisoners to be left to die because we defend the right to life."

The delegation ended its two-day talks in Istanbul with a visit to the Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK). The delegation was welcomed by HDK Co-Spokesperson Esengül Demir and Women's Assembly members at the headquarters in Beyoğlu.

Stating that the HDK has many assemblies and one of them is the Women's Assembly, Esengül Demir said, "The Women's Assembly is also within the congress, but it is a structure with a unique character. Our congress came together in 2011 with all the oppressed people in Turkey. It is an alliance of the oppressed made up of labour, ecology, LGBTI+, women, immigration, peoples and belief groups. Our main issue is the resolution of the Kurdish question through democratic means. For the solution of the Kurdish question, all components of the HDK have come together for this cause. More than 20 organisations are components of our congress. In 2012, it dounded the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). It covers the principles of the congress and maintains its binding nature."

HDK Women's Assembly members said, "We have a goal that aims for a new life and builds the culture of a new common life. One of the places we are inspired by is Rojava. We set out with the Third Way as an alternative."

The visit ended after the question-answer session.

The delegation will continue their visits in Amed (Diyarbakır) tomorrow. On 15 December, the delegation members will return to Istanbul, where they will hold a press conference about their visit.