[Ankara, 2 February 2016, from our members in Turkey] As you may or may not know, the resolution process that was started in 2012 for a political solution to the Kurdish issue in Turkey has come to a halt. For the past six months, we have turned back to war – with an ever-increasing level of violence. As of the 16th of January, 2015, 20
districts of seven different provinces have suffered a total of 56 curfews altogether, remaining under curfew for a total of 304 days. Currently the sieges on Cizre and Silopi have reached 34 days, while the Sur neighbourhood of Diyarbakır has been under siege for 46 days already. In these six months hundreds of people – civilians, guerilla fighters, soldiers, police forces – have been killed or wounded.
In areas where clashes are intense and curfews have been declared due to military operations, tens of thousands of people have been forced or left no choice but to leave their homes, becoming migrants, i.e. internally displaced persons. There are tens of thousands of civilians who have been unable to leave, or who have chosen to remain in their homes, in their neighbourhoods despite intense attacks by security
forces. Their lives are under dire threat, and all their possessions suffer serious damage. They are in a state where they find it difficult to meet even basic, fundamental needs. They live without electricity, unable to light stoves even. Dozens of families are forced to take refuge in crowded basements due to military bombings, with nothing to eat but a loaf of dry bread which they share. Pregnant women either give birth early or miscarry. Many people lose their lives because they are unable to reach hospitals due to sniper fire. The bodies of those who are killed remain in the streets for days, as people are not allowed by the state to claim their dead. Families are not given the right to bury their loved ones.
In these past six months more than a hundred have been killed by ISIS attacks in Suruç, Diyarbakır, Ankara, and in Istanbul last week.
The country is riddled with hate, polarization, a sense of insecurity, and violence. The freedom of expression is almost non-existent, as those who call for peace are criminalized. Indeed, the number of those who are taken under custody, arrested, fired from their jobs because they have raised their voices against this war increases every day. It is under these dire conditions that we, as women’s and LGBTI organizations and individuals from Turkey, who have come together upon the call of the Women’s Initiative for Peace, have started A NEW PEACE CAMPAIGN. WE ARE NOW SHARING OUR CAMPAIGN TEXT WITH YOU, INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S AND
LGBTI ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS, IN THE HOPE THAT YOU WILL SUPPORT US BY SIGNING OUR DECLARATION, AND BY SPREADING OUR VOICE:WE ARE ON THE SIDE OF LIFE, NOT DEATH!
WE DEFEND OUR RIGHT TO PEACE AND TRUTH!