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Joint Declaration of Women's and LGBTI Organizations for Peace in Turkey

MADRE endorses the following statement by local women's and LGBTI organizations in Turkey, made on 1 September 2015

We Call Upon Everyone to Join Us

We, the women of Turkey, desire peace. How many more generations must suffer the atrocities of war and conflict? What are we to do with all of this pain and suffering, for which there is no recompense?

Virtually moments before the elections the government announced that it had “frozen” the talks with the PKK, for all intents and purposes obliterating the peace process. And now antagonistic language stoking the fires of war has come back with a vengeance greater than ever before. Those who you say will be avenged, they are our children. Those who you say you can sacrifice, they are our children, our loved ones. And those who you kill, they too are our children.

Through our votes we told you what kind of a parliament, what kind of a country we desired. But our will was ignored. Instead, we find ourselves encircled by bombing, fires, and retaliations. Dozens of our people have been killed in a single month. Rather than mourning their deaths, through your words and actions you have instilled in us fear of even more loss. We did not cast our votes in favor of war. We did not vote for a “state of emergency” regime that fails to comply even with the antidemocratic laws currently in force. We have no need for bombs, or retaliation, or execution, or sabotage.

We women hereby proclaim that we will not accept an environment of war and conflict. To all parties, armed and unarmed alike, we say, “enough already.” Set aside arguments of who’s right and who’s wrong, get past the blame game of “who started it,” and just STOP! Strive not to kill, but to ensure life! We women side not with death but with life. Silence your weapons! Let dialog and negotiations begin! Take the steps to seek a democratic solution! So that our hopes and expectations for peace might live. Let true steps towards peace be taken so that the children of this country can have a future.

We women will never give up on peace. We will not give credence to any warmongering, because we know that only in an environment of peace is it possible to end discrimination, to establish justice, and to ensure a free and equal life for all. We know good and well from our own lives, and the struggle we ourselves have put forth, what it means to be ignored, and to be obliterated.

We insist, and will continue to insist, upon peace.

Signed by 113 local women's and LGBTI organizations.

To see the full list of signatories, click here.