On Wednesday, 11 November voices were raised by the female MPs of the Peoples Democratic Party ( HDP) during a meeting of the Ministry of Family and Social Services Planning and Budget Commission at the Turkish Assembly.
The HDP MPs questioned the commission: “What kind of measures are you taking against women’s poverty and why did you withdraw from the Istanbul Convention?”
Ayşe Acar Başaran, spokeswoman of the Women’s Assembly, spoke on behalf of the HDP group. Başaran said that women MPs should be given additional time in budget negotiations.
“We have a general criticism of the entire budget. We have seen once again that this budget, like the previous budgets of the AKP, is a budget allocated to war. It is not a budget for society, or for women.” She said.
In 2011 the then prime minister of the period Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the “Ministry for Women and Family” was to be abolished and replaced by a “Ministry of Family and Social Policies,”.
Başaran also made reference to this, saying: “The women’s ministry was abolished and is now under the Ministry of Family. As in all policies, we are faced with a budget that sees women as wives, spouses and sisters, but ignores them as individuals so there is no policy developed on behalf of women.”
In the meeting moderated by the AKP Bingöl Deputy Cevdet Yılmaz, a heated discussion broke out between HDP female deputies and the head of the commission, Cevdet Yılmaz as well.
Başaran said to the chairman of the commission Yılmaz, “Okay President, have a little patience with women. You will learn from us that you will not point fingers at women.”
Speaking later, HDP Ankara Deputy Filiz Kerestecioğlu took the floor and said, “Women are subjected to violence in this country. We are abused and killed in this country.”
Kerestecioğlu also reacted to the Commission President Cevdet Yılmaz as he was speaking on the phone while Kerestecioglu was speaking:
“We say that women are dying. You are saying respect everywhere but you are showing disrespect here,” she said.