Women of Turkey hand out letters for peace amid killings, riot police breaks up demonstrations

Yaşar Kaçmaz / Istanbul, Aug 20 () – Members of Women for Peace Initiative has gathered in a busy square of Bakırköy distict in Istanbul, in attempt to hand out letters attached with peace ribbons.

However, the riot police officers having taken security measures in the area have not allowed the women protesters to hold the event and distribute the “peace letters”.

Protesters have had to hold their protests in another street near the square, and made a press statement following the distribution of letters.

“We dream of a world where all of us, as Turks, Kurds, Alevis, Sunnis, Armeniens, Cherkesses and Laz could giggle all together. We dream of a world where we do not go to funerals, but visit each other for clavering, a world where the future generations to be born would not experience the war We are the 50 percent of this country, we can stop the war. That’s why we handmade these peace ribbons. Wear them, don’t cry, don’t be a part of this war” said member of the initiative Sultan Özcan on behalf of the initiative.

After having chanted slogans, the group ended the event without any incidents.

Along with the protest in Bakırköy, another group having gathered with the call on of “Platform of Women for Peace Initiative” in central Beyoğlu district in Istanbul, and chanted slogans “for peace”, by banging pans, pots in fron of Galatasaray High School.

While police officers have warned the group to disperse within taken security measures, some of the women in the group have tried to meet half way with the police.

Meanwhile, a police officer shouted, “You can go make your statement in front of the HDP headquarter!” slamming the protestors with supporting the Kurdish problem focused People's Democratic Party (HDP). A woman responded “We are not affiliated to the HDP. We are only women who demand peace”.

However the women could not convince the police and had to hold the protest in another street. Riot police officers, againd, took severe security measures in the area.

While the group was only able to make press statement piece by piece due to security forces, the statement said “We, as the women, are now familiar with what war means. We have wanted to keep watch for peace, but we were stopped by the police. We speak up against killings in Silopi, Şemdinli, Lice, Suruç… We just received the information that eight more soldiers have been sacrificed in Siirt. Silence the gunshots!”. The HDP’s former Istanbul MP Sebahat Tuncel has also supported the protest in Beyoğlu.



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