Purple Solidarity: Women’s rights cannot be bargained for election campaigns

Feminist organization Purple Solidarity member Sezen Ezer said that women would not be deceived by parties’ election promises that bargain over their vested rights.

As the May 14 elections, which are considered historic in Turkey and Kurdistan, are looming, women who have been subjected to government pressure in the last 20 years and whose vested rights are bargained by the political parties during the election campaign continue to react to the ruling AKP and their subjection. In the last 15 years of AKP's rule, 4,300 women have been murdered, thousands of women have been subjected to harassment and rape.

The AKP government withdrew from the Istanbul Convention and did not implement law no 6284 which prevents violence against women, paving the way for more femicides.  Based on a policy of impunity, the government released male murderers and negotiated over law no 6284 together with the New-Welfare Party, which joined the People's Alliance for the upcoming elections.

Feminist organization Purple Solidarity’s member Sezen Ezer spoke to ANF about the experiences of women during the 20-year AKP rule, their reactions to the government and their demands for the upcoming elections.

Ezer said that women have been struggling with their own agenda on the streets for a long time, vowing that they would continue to struggle against poverty and unlawfulness and would not compromise the most basic rights of women.

Ezer said: “Alliances reveal their own programs and promises as the elections are approaching. What the government has done to women is already clear. Especially recently, law no. 6284, which protects women, has become a matter of bargaining among the parties. Alliances are formed over misogyny. In the meantime, the opposition alliance promised to reintroduce the Istanbul Convention. We are not bargainable for the election campaigns, nor do we accept the promises made by the parties that attempt to speak on our behalf. Moreover, we do not accept election promises over our vested rights.”


Ezer revealed that they would raise their voices against those who do not take realistic approaches to women's issues in their election programs, adding that the women's movement would promote their own demands, not the demands of political parties.

Ezer said that the election program announced by the Labour and Freedom Alliance offered solutions to violence against women, which was promising. She added: “However, there is still a lot to do, and we, women, will continue to fight to protect our rights, our lives, and build a new life during and after the election process.”

Ezer emphasized that the AKP has been trying to institutionalize a conservative regime, especially in recent years, increasing the pressure on both women and opposition groups.

Ezer said that AKP Group Deputy Chair Özlem Zengin, who reacted to the election bargain to remove law no. 6284, took a step back when she was criticized by her own party. She continued: “Zengin was always speaking in support of the AKP's women's policies. However, after revealing her opposition to the removal of law no. 6284, she said that she was targeted, isolated and misunderstood by her party. This shows that the AKP's own supporters are also uncomfortable with the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention and misogyny, and that there are serious pressures seeking to silence women. We know only too well that the AKP government does not tolerate the promotion of the most basic rights and women's voices. We will continue to raise our voices against those who are disturbed by the voices and demands of women.”