Thousands of women attended a rally calling for freedom for Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan in the city of Van yesterday.
The rally was organised by the Democratic Free Women's Movement (DÖKH) and took place in the Van Musa Anter Peace Park.
Thousands of people attended the rally, including HDP Mardin MP Gülser Yıldırım, HDP Van MP Özdal Üçer, HDP Party Assembly member Cüneyt Caniş, BDP Van Provincial president Musa İtah and Van Municipal co-mayors Hatice Çoban and Bekir Kaya. Photographs of Abdullah Öcalan, Sakine Cansız women guerrillas who have died during the struggle were displayed at the rally.
Placards bore slogans such as "women demand the freedom of the president" and "we salute the struggles of Lice, Şax and Meskan".
‘As DÖKH we will be protesting until the leader is free'
DÖKH activist Hamiyet Şahin made a speech, saying organisations such as ISIS, the Free Syria Army and Al Qaeda were rented hitmen being used to colonise Asian and Middle Eastern countries, adding: "it is Abdullah Öcalan that is keeping alive the utopia of freedom and justice in this era of bloody war encouraged by finance capital. Abdullah Öcalan has created an opportunity for peace and the establishing of an alternative system in the Middle East by ending the armed conflict in Turkey. However, the ASKP is manipulating and sabotaging the process.
Therefore, as the DÖKH we will be on the streets raising our voices until the leader is free."
‘Mr Öcalan and all political prisoners should be released'
HDP Party Assembly member Cüneyt Caniş spoke, saying last weekend's HDP Congress had been the dream of Öcalan, adding that in order for there to be a democratic Turkey Mr Öcalan and all political prisoners should be released.
Following Caniş’s speech there was a performance by musicians from the MKM and footage of Öcalan addressing women in the past. Then HDP Mardin MP Gülser Yıldırım spoke
‘Taking ownership of Mr Öcalan is to take ownership of peace and freedom'
Yıldırım, said: "If Kurdish women are today coming on to the streets with their own identity, this is thanks to Mr Öcalan. He says: ‘society cannot be free unless women are free.' We must therefore step up the peace and freedom struggle."
After the speeches the rally concluded with performances by Hemê Hecî and Nudem.