The Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party) objects to Turkey’s proposed budget for 2024, with co-chair Tülay Hatimoğulları saying the budget is made for men and focuses on war.
“This is a budget that deepens gender roles in society,” Hatimoğulları said in her party’s women’s assembly meeting on Friday. “These are not just numbers, these are policies of the government. … This government favours patriarchy and authoritarianism instead of women in its politics.”
Hatimoğulları also spoke on the upcoming local elections, scheduled for 31 March 2024. The pro-Kurdish party’s focus remains on women and rebuilding local direct democracy, she said.
“Our past administrations in municipalities have already shown our determination to draft gender-sensitive budgets. We will take back our municipalities from government proxies once again,” the co-chair said.
The DEM Party’s predecessors, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Democratic Regions Party (DBP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), have consistently won municipalities in almost all Kurdish-majority provinces and districts, often in landslide victories, but since 2015 have been faced with the removal of their elected mayors to be replaced with central government-appointed proxies.
Between the election in March 2014 and a presidential decree in August 2016, 44 municipalities were taken from DBP mayors, many of whom were arrested on trumped up terrorism charges. After the 2019 elections, between appointed proxies and arrested mayors, the HDP’s 65 municipalities dwindled down to six.
“Those who think they can intimidate us and usurp the will of the people with these proxies should know that women will never let proxies and those who think like them to take over our municipalities. The co-chair system and equal representation is our purple line in the sand,” Hatimoğulları said.
The co-chair concluded her speech with a call for women to participate more in municipal councils.