As Turkey continues with the military operations it initiated on 23 April against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Qandil Mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, the political stance that has been taken by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) regarding these operations has been severely criticised by numerous political parties, groups and individuals. Kurdish Peace Mothers in Turkey have also voiced their concerns.”
Hatice Ay is a Peace Mother living in the Ankara province of Turkey and she states that Turkey is using the Barzanis, the family leading and controlling the KDP (the largest party in Iraqi Kurdistan and the senior partner in the Kurdistan Regional Government) as a tool for its agendas.
“Why don’t Kurds unite and support each other? Wherever our language disappears in a region, it affects other parts as well, and this happens in all of them. Barzani should not be comfortable because he is now on the side of the Turkish State,” she said.
She cautioned the Barzani led government of Iraqi Kurdistan: “Don’t say ‘nothing will happen to me.’ When the time comes, the Turkish state will throw him aside.”
Kadriye Özgan is another Peace Mother who shares the same view. She suggested that Barzani and the peshmerga are not aware of the risks they are in. “Let the KDP, Barzani, Bashur (Iraqi Kurdistan) people and the peshmerga see well what the Turkish State wants to do. Do not fall into these dirty games.The Kurdish people must unite. If we come together, no one can stand against us,” she said.
She also criticized Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Isn’t it dirty politics for a brother to shoot a brother? Isn’t it unfair? Tayyip is not just, Tayyip is evil. And it is not only against Kurdistan, but against the whole world,” she stated.
Peace Mothers constitute a civic movement similar to that of the Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo – a group of ‘Mothers’ who started gathering in 1977 at Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to campaign and demand knowledge about the whereabouts of their disappeared children, who they had lost in the ‘Dirty War’ (1976-1983).
They represent, Hasret Çetinkaya notes, “a civil rights movement consisting of women who stand for the collective grieving of Kurdish precarity, and their role during this long low intensity war” between Turkey and the PKK, “which has always been gendered, has placed them in a position where they can articulate demands for peace.”