Women protest for missing student Gülistan Doku

Women in Dersim and Amed protested for missing university student Gülistan Doku, who has been missing for two years, and expressed that they will keep the struggle going until those responsible are revealed.

Dersim Women’s Platform held a press conference on the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of the disappearance of Gülistan Doku, a university student in the Department of Child Development at Munzur University, who has been missing since 5 January 2020. The press conference was attended by members of the Doku family, students from Munzur University, and HDP Dersim Deputy Alican Önlü.

Speaking at the press conference, Raife Yılmaz, a member of Dersim Women’s Platform, stated that there has been no progression in the investigation into the disappearance of Gülistan Doku for two years. Remarking that the prosecutor focuses on the allegation of “suicide”, Yılmaz said, “Claiming that the woman who walked towards Dinar Bridge on surveillance camera recordings was Gülistan Doku, they led to the assumption that she jumped into Uzunçayır Dam Lake. However, the entire search efforts conducted there could not get any result. So far, Zaynal Abarakov, the only suspect in the case file, the last person whom Gülistan Doku met, has only been asked to testify.”

“While no judicial proceeding was initiated against the suspect, elder sister Aygül Doku was sued. As a result, the family launched a sit-in protest in front of the courthouse and talked to the governor. Both the governor and prosecutor spoke in a manner that exonerated the suspects. In response to mother Doku saying, “We will not leave here until Gülistan is found”, the governor said, “Do whatever you want”. This reveals that the authorities pay no attention to this case”, said Yılmaz.

Underlining that any word uttered by members of the government becomes a source of violence against women, Yılmaz stressed, “We will not allow you to protect and exonerate the perpetrators; we will bring them to account.”


Dicle Amed Women’s Platform (DAKAP), too, held a press conference concerning the missing student Gülistan Doku. The activists displayed a banner reading “Two years without Gülistan, Justice for Gülistan”, and chanted slogans such as “Where is Gülistan Doku?”, “True justice, not male justice” and “We do not keep quiet, we do not fear, we do not obey”.

Speaking at the press conference, Dilan Ergül, a member of the Justice Commission for Doku, pointed to the lack of an effective investigation into Doku’s disappearance.

“We are aware of your collaboration with Zaynal Abarakov”, said Ergül, adding, “Through your anti-woman judiciary, soldiers, police, media, laws and policies, you intend to protect your male power against women. This is why you protect Zaynal and the rapist soldier Musa Orhan.”

Human Rights Organisation (IHD): The state protects the perpetrator

The Women’s Commissions of the Human Rights Organisation (IHD) branches in the cities of North Kurdistan released a joint statement, saying, “The family of Gülistan filed a criminal complaint against suspect Zaynal Abarakov but could not accomplish any result in the judicial process. Despite tangible evidence, no judicial proceeding was implemented against Zaynal Abarakov. This situation reinforces the claims that the state protects the perpetrator.”