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Support to Call for Peace of Women & LGBTI Organisations from Turkey

[Brussels, 2 December 2015] In November our Turkish members asked us to sign their call for peace to President Erdogan, due to the threatening situation in Turkey:
"Violence in the Middle East and Turkey escalates with each passing day. While the world’s eyes turn to the tragic attacks in Paris, what we are experiencing at present in our country is much more extreme than the past, and we are deeply worried about what tomorrow will bring. It seems like our very future, our fundamental human rights, and the most basic right to life are under threat. For the past 40 years, Turkey has been in a state of war that has deeply affected our society, especially women and girl-children in eastern Turkey, and it has become impossible to prevent severe rights violations. Since Turkey’s June 7th 2015 general elections, in a context of escalating violence and military operations, which have continued after the recent November 1st snap elections, the Human Rights Association reports that: 262 civilian lives have been lost (602 lives in total, including soldiers, police and Kurdish militants); 759 people have been wounded; 5,713 have been detained; and 1,004 people arrested.

In these conflicts in the Kurdish region, concentrated mostly in the provinces of Diyarbakır, Hakkari and Şırnak, in the towns of Cizre, Silvan, Nusaybin, Silopi and many others, some settlements have endured blockades and 24-hour curfews of over 10 days, threatening the lives of civilians, especially women, girl-children, and LGBTI people. While the people of these regions cannot even obtain the most basic necessities for life, like water, food, and electricity, thousands of them are being forced to leave their homes. Additionally, they cannot access health services: it has been reported that between August and October 2015, 300 women in the towns of Hakkari province (Şemdinli and Yüksekova) who could not leave their homes have had miscarriages or are in danger of suffering miscarriages due to the extreme stress and trauma they are undergoing.

As Turkey’s women’s and LGBTI movements, we have repeatedly raised our voices to call for peace. However, at this moment, it is critically urgent that international solidarity networks be established with the women living in these conflict zones. 101 organisations from 33 countries have supported this urgent call and we have sent the following letter with their signatures to Turkish President and Prime Minister. We have also shared the Press Statement with the media in Turkey on 26th November 2015."

The action involves sending a call and letter to the Turkish President and Prime Minister Erdogan.

Download the full letter and the list of signatories here

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