Thousands of women rally in Amed to mark March 8 International Women’s Day

Photo: ANF

AMED (ANF – Thousands of women staged a march in the main Kurdish city of Amed to mark the March 8 International Women’s Day in North Kurdistan. Women expressed their determination to continue resisting until freedom for women and Kurdistan is realized.

Women’s march began in front of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) building in Amed and ended in İstasyon Square. Accompanied by ‘erbane’s and traditional clothing, women did group dances, sang ululations and chanted slogans such as ‘Women, life, freedom!’. The march was led by Free Women’s Congress (KJA), and transformed into a rally at İstasyon Square. The Turkish police tried to prevent the entrance of Kurdish women to the square with the excuse of a ‘bomb threat,’ but hundreds of volunteers organized the security of protestors and women succeeded in entering the square for their rally.

Posters with slogans such as ‘Women resist for their leadership and freedom,’ ‘Free and equal life against war and male violence,’ and ‘Salutes to women yearning for an honorable and free life’ were displayed during the rally at İstasyon Square. Artists such as Cegerxwin Erbane Group, Amed Regional Martyr Mizgin Chorus, Nihal, Koma Berji and Pınar Aydınlar are performed at the stage set up in İstasyon Square, where thousands of women are celebrated the 8th of March.

HDP parliamentarians Meral Danış Beştaş, Çağlar Demirel, Feleknas Uca, Sibel Yiğitalp and Nursel Aydoğan, HDK Co-Spokesperson Gülistan Koçyiğit, and KJA Spokesperson Ayla Akat Ata also attended the rally.


Amed Metropolitan Mayor Gültan Kışanak spoke first during the rally and said that women were insisting on peace despite the on-going war. Kışanak emphasized that women would not accept slavery and continue to be at the frontlines of resistance for freedom. Kışanak noted that women were necessary for an honorable peace, and would always struggle against male state violence.


HDP Co-President Figen Yüksekdağ was the last speaker of the rally and saluted all women who attended the march and continue to resist for freedom in Amed’s Sur district. In her speech, Yüksekdağ described the spring of 2016 as the spring of resistance, and said that the resistance of women across the barricades put up in North Kurdistan would bring an end to state savagery and oppression.

Yüksekdağ stated that the government in Turkey only knew of killing people and destroying towns, but the government’s savagery would not save it from defeat. She praised the resistance of women who fight for freedom, and said that she and her colleagues had their promise of freedom to all women across the globe.

HDP co-president recalled the struggles of Kurdish women such as Sakine Cansız, Sêvê, Mother Taybet, Pakize, and Mother Fatma. Yüksekdağ said that they owed their motivation for victory to the women whose dead and naked bodies were displayed by state forces in the streets of Kurdistan. Yüksekdağ criticized government officials claiming that all civilians in Sur were evacuated, and added that the state was lying and holding civilians as hostage because it could not bring the Kurdish movement down to its knees.

Photo: ANF
Photo: ANF


Yüksekdağ stated that Cizre was the pride of Kurdish people for its resistance, and the shame of the government because of the state forces’ destruction and massacres. Yüksekdağ emphasized that the perpetrators of the massacres in Cizre would pay for their war crimes, and the people’s resistance would upset the government’s genocide plans. Yüksekdağ noted that what scared Turkey the most was the Kurdish women’s and people’s march for freedom and victory. Yüksekdağ criticized the state forces’ attempt to prevent the rally, and praised rally participants for entering İstasyon Square.

Lastly, Yüksekdağ stated that the government was trying to intimidate Kurdish people by prosecuting their representatives, but the terror state would not reach its goals of intimidation because of the people’s resistance, which would rewrite history and be victorious. Yüksekdağ condemned the on-going isolation of Kurdish People’s Leader Abdullah Öcalan, and ended her statement by celebrating the 8th of March of all women.