A message of solidarity to our sisters in Turkey

Global Fund for Women stands in solidarity with our sisters and partners in Turkey following Friday’s attempted coup and the ensuing violence that has left more than 200 people dead and 1,500 wounded.

We are concerned about the chilling measures taken by the Turkish government since Friday, including the imposition of a state of emergency for three months, the deputy Prime Minister’s announcement that during this state of emergency the government will suspend the European Convention on Human Rights, and the suggestion by several government officials of reinstating the death penalty. According to the BBC, more than 50,000 people have been arrested, rounded up, or suspended from their jobs by the government, including teachers, interior ministry workers, judges, military personnel, police officers, and people working in the prime minister’s office.

As the rallying continues on the streets, women throughout Turkey are trying to understand what the instability and increasing violence and militarism mean for them. Women are already seeing an increase in violence and discrimination, as well as sexual harassment. Women’s groups in Turkey also fear that this coup attempt will lead to increased crackdowns on the press, human rights activists, and civil society organizations.

We urge the international community to closely monitor the situation in Turkey and support the right of Turkish women leaders and women’s groups to freedom of expression, assembly, and movement as they continue their struggle to advance peace and women’s rights.

“As the situation in Turkey continues to deteriorate and basic human rights are trampled on, it is our responsibility as the international community to continue to hold the Turkish government accountable for its obligations under international law as well as the Turkish constitution. The coup attempt and the state of emergency cannot be used as pretext to silence all opposition and instill a climate of fear and intimidation,” said Zahra Vieneuve, Global Fund for Women’s Program Officer for the Middle East and North Africa. “This climate of violence and insecurity makes the public sphere unsafe and dangerous to women. This must stop. We must raise our voices so that our sisters in Turkey know that we stand with them and will continue to support them.”