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We women respond to the call made by the HDP "to prevent civil war" in Turkey!

Saturday 5 November 2016

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We woke up this morning to news of the detainment of members of parliament from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and an explosion in Diyarbak?r. We live in a time and geography where even "good morning" has become a luxury. But we want to be able to say "good morning" or "good night" to each other; this is what our struggle is for. We are tired of waking up to even greater desperation in our country every single day. The more we dream of a country where it’s possible to solve problems by way of communication, the more pressures on oppositional politicians, as well as interventions into our lives and women’s gains increase. Today, with the arrest of MPs from the HDP, the will and voice of 6 million voters has been completely disregarded, violently erased. This is an act that deepens the state of war and prevents the very hope for peace. We women know that as war takes hold over our lives, we shall all become more desolate and more hopeless. War and violence makes women’s everyday lives more difficult; narrows down and restricts our breathing spaces. Peace is a necessity for us all. So is freedom. Blocking the possibility of democratic representation for everyone in the parliament is equal to obstructing peace itself. The detainment and arrest of the co-chairs of the HDP and members of parliament means silencing and disregarding the right to representation of 6 million people from Istanbul to Diyarbak?r, from Ankara to Cizre. It is a clear attack on gender equality, on women’s voices in municipalities and the parliament.

Life cannot continue like this. Nobody can dream of or plan for the future in a country where you try to sleep at night wondering what bad news you will wake up to the next morning. No emotion other than desperation or hopelessness is possible in a country where even encounters on the street are shadowed by doubt and suspicion. For a country where we may all speak, hear each other’s voices and understand one another, it is first and foremost necessary to have everyone’s voice in the parliament itself, so that our chosen representatives may work for the solution of problems by communicating with each other.

We have always insisted on peace, insisted that there is no problem we cannot solve by way of communication and negotiation. Our insistence continues. While we listen to nothing but political rhetoric on how ’our country is under the risk of being divided’, what we see each and every day is a society more divided by hate, fragmented, broken apart than before. We are expected to revel in or celebrate each other’s pain. We are expected to enjoy each other’s silence; be happy that those living in the neighbouring street or apartment cannot be represented in the parliament of our country. Yet we wish to believe that our troubles and our dreams are not actually so disparate. We once again repeat that we insist on peace both for our own and each other’s lives. We know that this is only possible under truly democratic conditions, where all of our voices are valuable, and none of our thoughts are held captive, imprisoned.

If all we can do is not give up, refuse to stop listening to each other or be buried into silence and isolation, this is exactly what we women will keep doing day in and day out until true peace and democracy are actually possible.

Women´s Initiative for Peace