Dear Sisters and Friends;

The operations of political genocide towards women in particular and to peoples’ democratic organizations and institutions including municipalities, mass arrests of elected members of parliament and co-mayors continues as part of the state’s escalating plunder and war in the Kurdish cities following the termination of the peace and negotiation process by the AKP government. Hundreds of democratic and non-governmental organizations were closed down, academics, journalists, activists and politicians were taken into custody and arrested within the scope of the state of emergency declared on the pretext of the July 15th coup attempt. Thousands of people have been removed from the public service with the state decrees issued under the state of emergency. 162 co-mayors were removed from office and state appointed trustees were assigned to 81 municipalities as part of the overall attacks carried out against the Kurdish people and Kurdish women in particular. 37 elected women co-mayors have been arrested. Also; the Free Women’s Congress (KJA), the joint organization of Kurdish women was shut down without any legal grounds and hundreds of its activists were arrested.  

AylaAyla Akat Ata, KJA spokesperson was among the KJA activists who were arrested. A prominent lawyer and a mother; Ayla Akat Ata has been a human and women’s rights activist for years. She held executive positions both in Diyarbakır and General Headquarters of Human Rights Association (İHD). She worked in the Legal Assistance for Sexual Assault and Rape under Custody Project. Ayla Akat Ata was also an elected member of the Founding Assembly of Democratic Free Women’s Movement and served at the coordination of the organization. In 2007 and 2011; she was elected to the parliament as a member of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and served as a deputy for two terms. During her term of office; on behalf of BDP and HDP she served as a member of the Justice Commission, the Equal Opportunity for Women and Men Commission and the Constitution Commission. Ayla Akat Ata participated in the international programs of AWID and World Women’s March representing KJA and Kurdish women.  

KJA spokesperson, Ayla Akat Ata was arrested on October 30th, 2016 and is being held in Kandıra F type High Security Prison under heavy conditions of isolation. Tens of law suits have been filed against her asking for up to 95 years of imprisonment for her human and women’s rights activism, for activities and events she participated as a Member of Parliament and statements she has made as the spokesperson of the KJA.  

On behalf of Ayla Akat Ata, it is the organized women’s movement that is being targeted. A hearing of one of many lawsuits filed against her will be held at the Diyarbakır 5th Heavy Penal Court on May 4th, 2017. The participation of representatives of women's institutions, lawyers and international observers to this hearing is at most importance in terms of demonstrating women’s solidarity and standing up for the historical achievements of the women’s movement.  

As TJA, we are inviting all our sisters and friends in solidarity to participate in the court hearing of Ayla Akat Ata to be held on May 4th, 2017 in Diyarbakır. Please contact us for further information.

In Solidarity;

Tevgera Jinen Azad (TJA)
Free Women’s Movement
Date: May 4th, 2017
Place: Diyarbakır, Turkey

Note: Please also see the attached Report recently prepared by TJA on increasing oppression of women in Turkey and Kurdistan.