Remziye Tosun, deputy for Turkey’s Kurdish-majority province of Diyarbakır (Amed), said that the photograph used by both ruling and opposition parties for criminalising deputy Semra Güzel, actually reflected the Kurdish reality and it was the Turkish state, not Semra Güzel, who should be blamed for that reality.
Semra Güzel, an MP for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), is likely to face a vote in the General Assembly of the Turkish parliament over her immunity, as a parliamentary commission proposed on 17 February that it should be lifted.
Güzel became a target for both members of the ruling coalition of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and also for the opposition alliance of the centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and centre-right Iyi Party, after a photograph showing her with an alleged member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party was revealed.
It did not matter that the photograph was dated 2014, and that the alleged PKK member, who was later killed in an armed clash, was Güzel’s fiancée at the time the photograph was taken.
Remziye Tosun, also an MP for HDP, spoke at a gathering in Diyarbakır on Tuesday, and defended Güzel, saying the photograph in question was actually a reflection of the Kurdish question and the Kurdish reality.
‘This photo is a reflection of the reality for Kurdish women’
“Semra Güzel, as a Kurdish woman, has been acting and struggling for democracy, peace, freedom as a part of women’s movement for many years now,” she said.
“She has been faced with a lynching attitude due to a photo that has been presented as grounds for making accusations against her. In her person, all the struggles of our people, the democratic politics and the women’s movement have been targeted. As a matter of fact, this photo is a reflection of the reality that surrounds Kurdish women in the region, and of the decades-long war in these lands. Nobody can deny this. Semra Güzel is one of the leading members of our movement, a soul dedicated to the struggles for the rights and liberties of our people. She has already proved it by her hard work both inside the parliament and out in the field. I would like to state once again that the alleged grounds for this lynching campaign with reference to this photo is actually the ordinary reality of the people in the region.”
“Wherever and whenever one knocks at a door in one of the neighbourhoods of this region, this reality reveals itself in almost every single house. You can’t find any house excluded from these sorts of pains and grieving due to the war of the state against our people. The families have been looking forward to meet again with their loved ones who are currently either in prison, in exile, or in distant places, and such cases are reflected in photos that hang on the walls of the houses. She can never be blamed for a suspected crime in any legitimate way; the state itself is the suspect, and the state itself should be questioned as the cause of all these sufferings and pain of the people.
Tosun added that they would never let anyone blame and criminalise Güzel:
“Semra Güzel is our member in the parliament, our dear comrade. She will continue to be the deputy in our hearts even if she is stripped of her status as an MP. She has been elected as the representative of our people for the parliament. We will always be with her, support her cause, and never let anyone blame and criminalise her actions.”