“Aysel Tuğluk has played an important role in the democratisation of Turkish politics with her empowering sense of struggle, responsibility during the most difficult times and actions in the field of politics,” writes Elif Kaya for Yeni Özgür Politika.
A lawyer, human rights defender, advocate of women’s rights, a politician and parliamentarian: a woman who has dedicated her life to the struggle for freedom.
Like all kids under the relentless attacks of fascism in Kurdistan, she grew up with the same dream of becoming a lawyer.
Just as every individual whose language and ethnic identity has been ignored and whose human dignity and life has been threatened and become unprotected, the primary focus has been on defending oneself and others. However, advocacy in a non-democratic environment is like a fig leaf covering the faults of the dominant system. It doesn’t take long for her to notice this.
During the period of barbarity in the mid-1980s, with enforced disappearances and forced feeding of faeces in prisons, it became futile to seek a just environment in which legal defences could be made.
For this reason, she participated in active politics for a democratic social system. Because without a democratic system, it would not be possible to attain justice. Therefore, she tried to manage both advocacy and active politics. She believed that justice had no chance without the act of liberating life.
As a Kurdish-Alevi woman, she began struggling from the most disadvantaged/vulnerable position. But she was also aware of all the exploitation and discrimination policies in place. (…)The way to freedom was to dissolve a brutal exploitation system. For this purpose, she carried out important works in the Kurdistan free women’s struggle. She struggled against all forms of oppression and conducted important works for social liberation.
During 2004, widespread public meetings were organised, important steps for democratic confederalism taken and the formation of the democratic society movement was started. She became the co-chair of the Democratic Society Party (DTK) in 2005 which was a turning point in bringing about change in patriarchal politics by bringing in plurality in a political atmosphere previously dominated by the ‘autocracy.’ During the period in which the roots of masculinity in politics were questioned and women’s politics advanced, she was elected as a deputy and entered parliament.
She played a decisive role in dealing with obstacles to women’s participation in politics, as a co-chair of the party which represents the highest level of women’s participation in the parliament. Thus, it opened up a way for women’s participation in politics, not only in Kurdistan but also in Turkey.
She had a decisive impact in influencing other parties to change their women’s policies in parliament. Following these actions, other parties had a tendency to implement a quota that allowed women to take part in politics.
Aysel Tuğluk has played an important role in the democratisation of Turkish politics with her empowering sense of struggle, responsibility during the most difficult times and actions in the field of politics.
She has been in prison since 2016. Despite her severe illness and the report on her not to remain behind bars, there is no way to postpone her execution. It is not the issue of an unlawful sentence or that a deputy has been jailed but the request for the postponement of her execution, due to her serious health problems.
The situation is such that it does not allow for the postponment of the death of Aysel Tuğluk, despite her serious illness.
Turkey’s democratic politics has been hit hard over the past six to seven years. The most brutal practices were repeatedly normalised. While the representatives of democratic politics, parliamentarians and intellectuals, were put into prison, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) alliance passed a law to show their loyalty for the mafia leader, Alaatin Çakıcı.
Aysel Tuğluk is a woman who took her place in parliament and who has paid a great price for the democratisation of this country. She has rights like every other person in the parliament. Her unlawful arrest cannot ignore her basic rights. The Court’s board can make such a decision with the instruction of the government, but she is the representative of the people.
The attitude towards Aysel Tuğluk is the most concrete expression of fascism targeting women, Kurds, Alevis and left-socialist people.
Ensuring that Aysel Tuğluk, who has a serious illness, is released from prison is a duty of loyalty and conscience that goes beyond the necessity of the democratic struggle.
Aysel may overcome all this brutality, but the peoples of Turkey cannot and should not forget this cruelty.