HDP deputy throws headscarf in protest of cross-border military operations

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People’s Democratic Party (HDP) Diyarbakır MP Remziye Tosun took off and threw her white muslin on the floor in the general assembly of the parliament yesterday (December 8) during the talks on the 2023 budget.

“I am throwing my muslin here where all decisions of war are taken so that the fighting will stop, so that the isolation system [in prisons] is abolished and so that an honorable peace is reached in this geography,” said Tosun.

The MP talked about and protested the cross-border operations of Türkiye.

Tosun said, “We are here in order to act for the people so we are obliged to struggle for honorable peace for the people. It is therefore that we said ‘budget for peace, not for war.’ And we will continue to say this. However, people’s labor and the sweat of their brow is again transferred to the expenses of the war. The cost of 20 years of fighting is trillions of lira. And what share does the society get from this? Only oppression, death, violence, and hunger.”

73 lives lost in the presence of the state

Tosun also spoke about the conditions in prisons. She said, “Policies of war are continuous from the prisons to the streets, from the streets to cross-border operations. Seventy-three people died in prisons in one year. 73 lives were lost in the presence of the state. Ill prisoners are kept as a trump card and political prisoners hostage. This way they are showing their teeth to all of the opposition.”

Tosun said, “Now we need peace more than ever, and women need it the most. Because the women suffer the most. There are in our tradition, women who stop fighting by throwing their white muslin on the floor. Women have to use this power again today. I am also today throwing my muslin here where all decisions of war are taken so that the fighting will stop so that the isolation system [in prisons] will be abolished and so that an honorable peace will be reached in this geography.

Tosun said, closing her speech, “Operations should be stopped, the isolation in İmralı prison should be abolished, the way should be opened for an honorable peace.”

What happened?

On November 20, Türkiye launched airstrikes in the north of Syria and Iraq, targeting Kurdish groups that it held responsible for a November 13 bomb attack that killed six people and injured dozens in İstanbul’s popular tourist area of Taksim.

Some 70 aircraft hit 89 targets, with 44 targets at a depth of 20 kilometers into Syria, the government announced.

Government officials said a ground offensive into the Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria would follow the strikes.

Since 2016, Türkiye has carried out four major military operations in Syria, targeting the Kurdish-controlled areas in two of them.

In an offensive in early 2018, it captured the northwestern city of Afrin and its surrounding regions from the SDF. In October 2019, it took control of the towns of Tell Abyad, Suluk and Serê Kaniyê (Ras al-Ayn).

Ankara has since then expressed its intentions to create a 30-kilometer “safe zone” along the Syria-Türkiye border. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in late May said Türkiye would start a new operation to achieve their purpose, but Russia, Iran and the US opposed such an offensive.

Türkiye and its allied groups currently control several regions in northwestern Syria, with the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also having a significant military presence in Idlib, the jihadist stronghold. (PE/VK)


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