Radical Meetings with the support of Radikal Newspaper took place on December 15th with the topic of “Today’s Kurdish Woman”.
Gülseren Onanç mentioned that when the government decided to launch the Democratic Opening, KAGIDER decided to give support to this topic which seemed irresolvable until now. She explained how KAGIDER listened to people from the region and gain information from Cengiz Çandar, Nebahat Akkoç president of KAMER, and psychiatry specialist Dr. Dilek Yeşilbaş during previous “Radical Meetings”. Onanç mentioned that they thought about solving the problem with female politicians and gathered together several times female politicians from AKP, CHP and BDP. She added: “With our Turkish politicians we talked about how to solve the Kurdish Issue in a peaceful and dialogue oriented way.”
Gülseren Onanç concluded with her concerns about the Government’s Resolution on individual armament. She said “We will do everything as KAGIDER to prevent this law to pass.”
After Onanç, the executive editor of Radikal Newspaper, Eyup Can voiced his opinions. First he talked about Radikal’s campaign “Make Speeches, No War!” and addressed that the signatures which were gathered were going to be delivered to the president of the assembly in order to show that there is a civil power. He mentioned that there are problems because of lack of information and that the same expressions on the topic are perceived differently in the west and the east of the country. He explained the historical anchor of the statement “Make Speeches, No War” and how it is also related to similar issues like ETA, IRA and how they were also preparing files about those topics, too. He also touched upon the language issue. “We searched if there are Kurdish humorists and the result was surprising. There are tens of them and we don’t know it. We pay attention to global issues but don’t know what’s happening next door.” He also mentioned how important the fact is that Kurdish women are more aware of things more than women living in other parts of the country. “We can talk about this topic all night long, but the solution is to listen to the stories of each other. And Kurdish women are part of the solution.”
Journalist Oral Çalışlar also emphasized the importance of Kurdish women when talking about the topic and their attendance to the campaign. He mentioned names like Reyhan Yalçındağ Baydemir and Leyla Zana who gave support and expressed that we confront the Kurdish issue in a form of a war issue and added: “War means death. And death is about the men who combat in the war. Because of that the topic never expanded and never included women. What happened then? Effective women started to come up in this conflict environment. A women movement started to be shaped inside the Kurdish movement. And then the difference between men and women started to disappear, because the reason of their riot was the same. The Kurdish movement becomes civilized thanks to women.” Lastly he explained that in order to really understand the problem and to develop empathy we need to see the problem in its own area.
Reyhan Yalçındağ Baydemir said that she attach great importance to memory and that we will be able to shape the future if we give importance to memory. In this framework she talked about the last 30 years and told her own story. She said that personal experiences are not easy to forget and that the Kurdish people experienced a deep tragedy. Baydemir, who is now a lawyer and who also was the vice president of human rights association, told how she decided to work for human rights movement in 1998, how it’s important to work for people who you even don’t know. She expressed that the women were the ones who had to suffer because of the tragedy and after the 30 years this problem is not solvable by one, that war is painful and women have to oppose it at firstly. She made a call to all women.
Dilek Kurban, director of TESEV Democratization Program argued that the state transforms the Kurdish people into political actors and that there is no going back now and that acts of kindness without considering the past of the Kurdish issue are unacceptable.