Melike Alp, one of the leading activists of the Kurdish women’s movement, lost her life under the rubble of a business centre complex, which collapsed in the 6 February earthquakes, in the mainly Kurdish province of Diyarbakır (Amed).
Rescue teams reached Alp’s body on Tuesday.
The Rosa Women’s Association and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Women’s Assembly expressed their condolences on social media.
“She significantly contributed to the women’s struggle and left us a very valuable legacy,” said the HDP Women’s Assembly.
Alp was the founder of the first Kurdish women’s movement association, the Patriotic Women’s Association, established in 1991. The prominent human rights defender was also the chair of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party’s (HADEP) first Women’s Commission.
HADEP was the first pro-Kurdish party to openly participate in elections in 1995 and 1999 but didn’t manage to reach the 10% threshold that was designed to keep Kurdish parties out of the Turkish parliament after the 1980 military coup. However, the party did win many local councils in the Kurdish southeast and was subsequently banned in 2003.
After many people died under the rubble of the destroyed Diyar Galeria Business Centre, where Alp lost her life, the owner of the business centre, as well as the architect and civil engineer who were responsible for the project, were detained on Wednesday.
Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on Thursday that legal action was taken against 245 of those responsible for the buildings destroyed in the earthquake, 54 were arrested, 27 people were in custody, detention orders were issued for 45 people, and four suspects had fled abroad.