“Women continue to fight and die at the forefront of the war against ISIS and in defense of their people, women struggle and die in communities during airstrikes, women die condemning the heightened violence and women die in peace rallies” said International Women’s Alliance (IWA) Chairperson Liza Maza as she called on the member organizations of IWA to condemn in the strongest way possible the horrible attack against a massive peace rally of Kurdish peoples and members of mass organizations and political parties in Ankara, Turkey on October 10. At the funeral march, thousands gathered to pay their respects and voice their indignation, fuming mad at the lack of government efforts to protect the peace rally.
With women on the front lines, the Kurdish people are waging a difficult and heroic struggle for national self-determination and social liberation in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. The civil war in Syria, the political instability in Turkey and now, the ISIS terrorism continue to worsen the suffering of the Kurdish people and make a just peace unreachable. For decades the Kurdish people have fought against discrimination and brutal suppression of their identity and national rights in all these states. But the Islamic state led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to whip up Turkish nationalist sentiments to gather support for his military campaign against the Kurdish movement.
According to reports, the people were marching to call for a peaceful end to the armed conflict between the Turkish government and the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), when a double explosion blasted the demonstrators, leaving 128 people dead and over500 injured. The attacks were carried out by two suicide bombers who detonated the bombs in the midst of the gathering. According to observers, police security at the march was minimal, in a state known for its usual heavy police surveillance.
At the funeral march, a woman reportedly collapsed in tears shouting “why murder the people in a rally for peace”. “Innocent hearts beating for peace are brutally stopped, ” said Elif Shafak, the bestselling Turkish author.
Investigators said they found strong evidence pointing to ISIS, but to the Kurdish people this does not rule out the involvement of the Turkish government. Past attacks against Kurdish people’s demonstrations have gone unpunished in a climate of total impunity. Turkish government spokespeople have even blamed the Kurdish opposition itself for the attack. The bombing on October 10 comes in the lead-up to the snap elections in November, and President Erdogan clearly has every interest in unseating the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) who took 80 seats and 12% of the vote in the 550-strong parliament, last June, denying Erdogan a parliamentary majority.
News reports claim it is common knowledge in Turkey that the Erdogan government has been supporting ISIS by giving them access to travel routes, training camps and even hospitals inside Turkey. They said the ISIS has become an ally of Erdogan to crush the Kurdish movement. Long before the bombing Kurdish groups have slammed the Turkish government for not exerting all its effort to stop the ISIS attacks and for launching air strikes instead on PKK positions in Syria and Iraq. Similarly, US has also launched airstrikes not against ISIS and ISIS positions but against recovered territories of the Kurdish fighters. The US has also used the ISIS crisis to launch an attack against threats to their interests in the region, waiting for an opportunity to install a puppet state in Syria.
The members of the International Women’s Alliance who will join the Second General Assembly in Manila in November 2015 vow to continue to support the resolution adopted at its First General Assembly calling for a just and lasting peace and condemning the US War on Terror, militarism and state fascism.
Justice for Kurdish peace demonstrators! Support the Kurdish people’s struggle for liberation! Support the Kurdish people’s fight for the right to self-determination!
Long live international solidarity!