Ayten Yaşar is a Kurdish woman, living in Van (Wan) province of Turkey, who has been struggling against state violence for years. Like many other Kurdish activists, her house has been raided many times by the police.
“My older son was detained in one of these raids just for asking the police to not enter the house with their shoes on.” she told Jinnews regarding the house raids and then continues:
“My other son was very young during the raids and was traumatised as a result. For about a year after the raids he found it difficult to sleep and night and would often awake screaming from nightmares.
Ayten has been charged with attending the World Women’s Day march held annually on March 8th. During her interrogation police asked her why she participated in the event.
“8th March is celebrated all over the world, however, it was a reason for detention for me because I am a Kurdish woman. I was put on trial for a year just for attending the event” Ayten tries to explain the absurdity and the horror of the situation.
‘We have to be the voice of the strikers’
While the ongoing hunger strikes against the isolation of Kurdistan Workers Party Leader Abdullah Öcalan has reached its 74th day, she mentions the previous hunger strikes initiated by DTK Co-Chair Leyla Güven.
“During the strikes I was charged just for carrying a placard with “Freedom for political prisoners” written on it. The strike continued for 200 days and many prisoners lost their lives demanding freedom. The case that I am charged with is still ongoing and now there is another hunger strike. We Kurds have to resist otherwise they will never give us our rights” she says and calls for solidarity with the hunger strikers.
“ We, the ones who are out, have to be the voice of the strikers, all of us have to resist without fear” she states.