Dozens of prominent women, including intellectuals, academics, artists and politicians released a joint statement on Saturday urging women to vote in the coming second round of presidential elections in Turkey, declaring, “We are here, we will not surrender to this darkness!”
They emphasised the need to protect the ballot boxes and expressed a firm stance against the current government’s policies, which they believe have brought about poverty, violence and a bleak future.
Their statement highlighted their ongoing resistance against the suppression of women’s rights and the recent attacks on the laws protecting them, such as the Istanbul Convention. They vowed to continue fighting for an end to violence against women, the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, the welfare of children, and the restoration of important pieces of legislation.
They declared that the coming elections would determine whether Turkey moves towards darkness or light, emphasising the significance of women’s participation in shaping the country’s future. They called on all women to vote and safeguard the integrity of the electoral process in order to put an end to the existing regime.
“We hold fast to the dream of an equal, free, secular, fearless and violence-free life. We know that if women are saved, the country is saved, our future is saved, the whole society is saved!” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, the Free Women’s Movement (TJA) has also released a statement urging the public to participate actively in the second round of presidential elections on 28 May.
The TJA emphasised the significant role of Kurdish women in the global fight against fascism, stating, “The revolt against the longest-standing colony has today turned into a revolution of freedom against fascism all over the world, especially in Kurdistan and Turkey.”
Expressing their conviction that the organised power of women would once again dismantle the misogynistic regime, they declared, “We firmly believe that this organised power of women, their resistance traditions and determination to struggle will once again destroy this misogynist fascism.”
Their statement also stressed their responsibility to challenge the current government and strive for women’s freedom and social liberation, asserting, “We will not surrender our hope, future and freedom to tyranny and fascism.”
The TJA called upon all segments of society who desire democracy to join forces in rebuilding social liberation: “We call on all sectors of society who want democracy, to push into reverse on 28 May the fascism we forced to a stop on 14 May, and to rebuild social liberation.”