Women in the crosshairs of the AKP violence
Under the AKP government, violence against women has reached an extreme dimension. The Kurdish women's movement is the primary target of the Erdogan regime.
Under the AKP government, violence against women has reached an extreme dimension. Male-state violence has not only increased, but is also carried out in a very brutal and torturous manner. Women who are targeted by the AKP government are subjected to systematic violence. While perpetrators are protected in trials with the arguments of "good behaviour" and "unjustified provocation", women's facilities and shelters have been closed. Women who resist are attacked and arrested. The Erdogan regime is responsible for thousands of feminicides due to its policies based on male domination.
Against these impositions, the Kurdish women's liberation struggle offers a perspective based on overcoming the patriarchal social system, developing a free women's identity in all areas of life and offering an alternative life for women in the face of the nation state and capitalist modernity. The transformative power of Kurdish women within the women's movements in Turkey and the world has become the compass of the women's revolution in the Middle East and thus the primary target of the AKP regime.
We document some of the murders of Kurdish women during the AKP government:
Sakine, Fidan and Leyla
Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez, pioneers of the Kurdish women's struggle, were murdered by the Turkish state in the French capital Paris on 9 January 2013. The contract killer died in custody, and the principals have not been charged or convicted to date.
During the curfews imposed by the Turkish state in many cities in Kurdistan in 2015, the tortured body of guerrilla fighter Ekin Wan was displayed naked in Varto district of Muş.
On 18 October 2015, a special police unit stormed Dilek Doğan's flat in Istanbul and murdered her. The murderer was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for deliberate negligence. The sentence was later reduced to six years and three months, with a deduction for good behaviour.
On 19 December 2015, Taybet Inan was shot dead by snipers during curfew in the Silopi district of Şirnak. Her body lay in the street for seven days because the police prevented all attempts to recover it with firearms. The funeral could only take place weeks later, without her family being allowed to attend.
Sêvê, Fatma, Pakize
On 4 January 2016, in the course of curfews in Northern Kurdish cities, three women were targeted and shot in Silopi: Sêvê Demir was a board member of the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), Fatma Uyar, co-chair of the Silopi People's Council and Pakize Nayır an activist of the women's movement KJA.
Hevrîn Xelef, Secretary General of the Syrian Future Party, was tortured and murdered by the Islamist terrorist group Ahrar al-Sharqiya on the road to Ain Issa during the Turkish invasion of Girê Spî (Tal Anyad) and Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) in northern Syria on 9 October 2019. The grouping is part of the "Syrian National Army" (SNA) - a coalition of armed militias created and equipped at the initiative of Turkey as the successor to the "Free Syrian Army" (FSA).
Gülistan Doku, a student at Munzur University in Dersim, disappeared on 5 January 2020. One day earlier, her ex-boyfriend, Zainal Abakarov, had tried to force the 21-year-old student, who was born in Amed (tr. Diyarbakır), into his car. Doku resisted and passers-by who had observed what was happening informed the police. The police quickly ruled out the man, whose stepfather is an ex-police officer, as a suspect. The case remains unsolved.
Ipek Er, an 18-year-old woman from Batman, was driven to suicide on 16 July 2020 after she was raped by non-commissioned officer Musa Orhan. Ipek was hospitalised for more than a month and died on 18 August 2020. The judiciary briefly had the perpetrator arrested, but he was quickly released because he was not a flight risk. Orhan is still at large today. Because of involvement in protests against the release of the rapist, 19 women were investigated on the charge of "membership in a terrorist organisation", meaning the PKK, and four women were arrested.
Deniz Poyraz was shot dead by the self-confessed fascist Onur Gencer in the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) office in Izmir, which was under round-the-clock police surveillance, on 17 June 2021. The trial of the murderer is ongoing.
Garibe Gezer was sexually tortured in prison and died under suspicious circumstances in a solitary cell on 9 December 2021. Garibe tried for a long time to make public the sexual torture she was systematically subjected to in detention, but nothing was done. After her death, JinNews released footage of Garibe Gezer's ill-treatment. The footage shows Gezer being pulled by the arms and dragged across the floor by guards.
Sakine Külter, a mother of five, was brutally tortured and murdered in Silopi on 15 May 2022. The perpetrator was Ibrahim Barkin, the chair of an association of supporters of paramilitary special forces.
Nagihan Akarsel, a member of the Jineolojî Research Centre and editor of the journal of the same name, was shot dead outside her home in Sulaymaniyah on 4 October 2022.
On 23 December 2023, KCK Executive Council member Emine Kara (Evîn Goyî) was assassinated in Paris along with musician Mîr Perwer (M. Şirin Aydın) and Kurdish activist Abdurrahman Kızıl in front of the Ahmet Kaya Cultural Centre. Evîn Goyî has made a great contribution to the development of the women's revolution in Rojava and has done a great service to humanity in the fight against ISIS.