“This victory is the common victory of all women of Turkey, ” Selahattin Demirtaş, co-president of the Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP), said in a television address to millions of citizens awaiting the outcome of the national elections on 7 June.
It’s important to be aware of the weight of Demirtaş’s words. In an environment where politicians rarely recognise women in the public sphere other than as someone’s mother, wife or daughter, his words were revolutionary.
Official speeches concerning women in Turkey are delivered to console grieving mothers when sons die in the conflict-ridden south-east, when routine gendercide claims the life of someone’s wife, or when a mourning father is interviewed about the rape of his daughter.
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