Dear Comrades and Friends,
Six women members of the Revolutionary Workers’ Party (DIP) of Turkey are being persecuted for their activity around the International Working Women’s Day. They are now being tried in court for support to and propaganda of terrorism simply because they have expressed solidarity with Kurdish women brazenly repressed and humiliated by security forces.
On 6 March 2016, the six women were distributing a DIP leaflet appealing to women to join the action to be held on women’s day in the main square of Çorlu, an industrial working class city west of Istanbul, when police took them under custody because there was reference to state repression of Kurdish women in the text of the leaflet. The public prosecutor later indicted our comrades and the court case is opening at the Assize Court of Çorlu next Thursday, 26 May 2016.
The allegation of support to and propaganda of terrorism is absurd. After having touched upon a series of forms of women’s oppression, the DIP leaflet then points out that some months ago, within the context of the war stepped up by Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP since last summer, the naked body of a Kurdish woman guerrilla had been dumped in the midst of a Kurdish city for display so as to sow terror amongst the population. The leaflet severely condemns this brazen act of humiliation of women, expresses solidarity with Kurdish women subjected to this and similar other acts of aggression, and salutes the struggle of Kurdish women engaged in self-defence against such practice on the part of security forces. It was this that the prosecutor immediately labelled as support to and propaganda for terrorism.
In its struggle against women’s oppression and for women’s liberation, in the face of a tremendous increase in violence against women, the DIP has systematically called for “self-defence groups” composed of women to fight violence against women, both in the Western parts of the country, in the industrial heartlands amongst working women and on campuses for female students and, quite naturally, in the Kurdish regions of the country as well. The fact that it is security forces that have committed this brutal denigration of women does not make this demand any less urgent.
The court case against the six DIP women is a case of attempted repression of women’s struggle against oppression, of solidarity between the Turkish and Kurdish peoples and of the struggle of DIP for a just and free society.
We call on all forces that fight women’s oppression and for the legitimate rights of the Kurdish people to express, in whatever way they deem appropriate, their solidarity with the defendants in this case before the opening session of the case next Thursday.
Women of DIP