Sunday, August 9, 2020

Turkey's communists at the forefront of the struggle for women's rights, against femicides

Thousands of women took the streets in more than 16 cities in Turkey, on August 5, demonstrating under the slogan "We are not giving up our rights, implement the Istanbul Convention". 

In Istanbul's Kadıköy district, women carried placards with the name of 350 murdered women and the slogan "She would be alive if the Istanbul Convention was implemented". 

In Izmir, protesters faced with police's violent response and 16 women werre detained. 

On the forefront of the struggle for women's equality and rights is the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) and its youth wing TKG. Hundreds of TKP-TKG members and supporters held organized protests in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. 

News portal soL reported: 
"In the joint press release announced in the protests, the Communist Women noted that this government, which is in need of international conventions to protect women from violence, is unable to enforce even the legal regulations it imposed. "Women of Turkey want not only the implementation of the contract but also the complete disappearance of violence," the press release said. 
"We know very well that exploitation is the source of violence against women. We know that women will be exposed to different types of violence as long as this system of exploitation continues. Those who demand withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention are part of the cause of the continuing violence and their move is nothing more than the effort to hide their share in violence and femicides. 
Women will be saved from this oppression and violence only by their own organized power. For this reason, working women do not rely on politicians who try to trivialize secularism or on the statements of bosses who have an interest in the persistence of the weak position of women in society. Women only rely on their growing solidarity and organized power," the communists said. 
The protests called on the working people of Turkey to organize in the ranks of communists to end the violence against women, to establish a free and equal country for the working women."
TKP protest in Ankara.
It must be noted that the number of femicides and violence against women is on the rise in Turkey, while Tayyip Erdogan's government and party (AKP) continues with the misogynist and reactionist policies. 

The "Istanbul Convention", also known as the Convention of the Council of Europe "on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence", was signed in Istanbul in May 2011 and entered into force in August 2014. However, officials of Erdogan's ruling AKP party have implied that Turkey could withdraw from the international agreement, calling the signing of the "Istanbul Convention" a "mistake". 

A total of 474 women were killed in 2019, as a result of femicides and gender-based violence, which is the highest rate in a decade. According to the campaign group "We will stop femicides", at least 36 women were murdered by men this July.