Tülay Hatimoğulları, co-chair of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party (DEM Party), emphasised the importance of peace and unity in addressing the Kurdish issue, during a parliamentary women’s group meeting on Tuesday. The gathering, which also saw participation from the Peace Mothers and others involved in the Justice Vigil, served as a platform for Hatimoğulları to underline the dire need for a democratic solution to the country’s long-standing conflicts.
Hatimoğulları condemned Sunday’s ISIS-claimed attack on an Istanbul church and expressed solidarity with all communities facing violence, reiterating the party’s stance against any form of targeted aggression. She highlighted the ongoing hunger strikes in prisons and the Justice Vigils held across Turkey as critical forms of protest against the isolation imposed on political prisoners, including Abdullah Öcalan, leader of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The ‘Great Freedom March’, set to commence on 1 February from Kars (Qers) and Van (Wan), represents a collective call for the lifting of isolation practices and a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish issue, Hatimoğulları explained. She stressed how issues faced by Turkey as a whole were related to the Kurdish question, and urged for widespread participation in the march not only from DEM Party members but also from intellectuals, writers and advocates for democracy across the country.
Hatimoğulları’s speech also touched upon the global trend of escalating conflicts and the essential role of dialogue in preventing further escalation. She called for a united stand against global challenges, emphasising the power of collective action in achieving peace and democracy.
In her appeal to women across Turkey, Hatimoğulları underscored the critical role women play in the peace-building process. She invited women to join hands in addressing the Kurdish issue and other societal challenges, highlighting the need for solidarity and determination in overcoming divisions and working towards a peaceful future.
The upcoming local elections were also mentioned as a crucial moment for the DEM Party, with Hatimoğulları expressing optimism about the party’s potential to effect change and contribute to a more inclusive and peaceful society. She concluded by encouraging all, especially women, to support the DEM Party’s mission for equality, justice, and peace, reinforcing the slogan, “DEM will come, and the times will change.”