"The government seeks to protect not women, but perpetrators"

The HDP's spokeswoman on women's policy, Ayşe Acar Başaran, points out the anti-women dimension of Turkish government policy.

Member of parliament Ayşe Acar Başaran, spokeswoman of the Women's Council of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has spoken on current political developments. Among other things, she addressed the situation of women in the Coronavirus crisis and the continued work of women in the Kurdish municipalities despite repression.

In the statement published in the social media via the accounts of the HDP, Ayşe Acar Başaran pointed out that the situation of women in the Coronavirus crisis is still not taken into account. "In April, twenty women were murdered by men in Turkey. In sixteen cases, the scene of the crime was their own home - in other words, the place of lockdown declared by the government,” said the HDP politician. She added that there had also been an immense increase in domestic physical violence, and that women's shelters were overcrowded.

Remarking that the government’s policy was aimed at protecting perpetrators rather than women, Başaran said the government put the women’s right to life on the line.

"Women are attacked using ISIS methods", explained Ayşe Acar Başaran and gave examples of women who have recently been burned with acid, tortured to death and murdered by slitting their throats.

Even during the pandemic period, the government continued its anti-women and anti-Kurdish policy without interruption, Ayşe Acar Başaran said and continued: “One example of this is the removal of elected mayors from municipalities in the Kurdish cities. In total, trustees have been appointed to forty municipalities, the last eight during the pandemic. The Kurds are thus told that they may of course use their right to vote, but they may not participate in government, and will go to prison in the event of doing so. Twelve women mayors elected last year are in still prison.”

The seizure of HDP municipalities through trustees has a direct impact on local women's policy. Many municipal women's institutions have been closed, while others have ceased to operate after men were made superiors. In the municipalities still run by the HDP, women's work is being expanded despite all the odds.

In this scope, Ayşe Acar Başaran noted that a women's cooperative has been founded in Kars. Women's emergency telephones have been set up in Silopi and Siirt. Berfîn Women's Centre has been opened in Siirt where also a sports complex for women is under construction.

"Despite the constant attacks, our municipalities are continuing their work, taking a female perspective as a service to women and the people," added the spokeswoman of the HDP Women's Council.