The ex-spokesperson for the Free Women’s Movement (Tevgera Jinên Azad), Ayşe Gökkan, was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment by a Diyarbakır (Amed) court yesterday, on charges of being a member of a ‘terrorist organisation’ and making ‘propaganda.’
Gökkan has been detained 83 times, 215 cases have been filed against her and she has had to attend court 600 times so far due to her women’s and Kurdish rights activism. She has been jailed in Diyarbakır’s Women’s Closed Prison since 28 January 2021.
TJA activists held protests in various cities of Turkey for Gökkan, demanding her immediate release.
The People’s Democratic Party’s (HDP’s) Diyarbakir MP Remziye Tosun spoke at the Democratic Regions Party (DBP) building in Bağlar district on behalf of the protesters.
“We, as women, do not accept this punishment given to Ayşe Gökkan. We believe that women all over the world don’t accept it. Because Ayse Gökkan has been involved in the women’s struggle for years. Despite all the pressures, she continued her struggle,” she said.
Gokhan’s sentence also elicited a significant public reaction on social media and many users protested against the decision with the hashtag #AyşeGökkanYalnızdeğildir (Ayşe Gökkan is not alone)
Another protest was held for Gökkan in the southeastern Şırnak (Şirnex) province of Turkey and HDP’s Deputy, Dersim Dağ, spoke there, mentioning the Kurdish women politicians who have been imprisoned for their political activism.
“Gültan Kışanak, Sebahat Tuncel and Ayşe Gökkan have not succumbed to these ‘games’ in the courts. The punishment given to Ayşe Gökkan is an attack on the struggle of Kurdish women and the march for freedom. We do not accept this decision,” she said.
While protests were held in many other Kurdish populated provinces of Turkey, the women’s platform in Turkey, Kadınlar Birlikte Güçlü (Women are Strong Together), also made a call to protest over Ayşe Gökkan in Istanbul’s Kadikoy district on 22 October, in front of Sureyya Opera House at 19.30.