The Interior Ministry of Turkey has taken a new step by suspending the activities of 370 NGOs for three months for their alleged connections with the Gülenists (153), PKK (190), DHKP-C (19), and ISIS (8). The decree was based on the Law of the State of Emergency and was justified by the need “to protect the general security and the public order.”
For part of these associations occurred to be women’s organizations, it was the women again who came up with a clear objection: Over fifty organizations made a press release titled “We are with our fellows” and have criticized the decree targeting those working for women’s rights, freedom and equality and against violence against women.
Suspended women organizations, almost all of which are from the densely Kurdish populated provinces of the country, oppose the decree saying that it is baseless and that the officials did not find anything illegal regarding their activities. The computers and files of the associations were seized by the police.
Gündem Çocuk, a well known association working on children’s rights, was among the organizations suspended. Interestingly enough, the association was a partner to the Ministry of Education of Turkey, and was supported by the EU Delegation to Turkey, as were some others. It was campaigning on issues like child marriages, sexual abuse of children, education of girls, and children’s security in schools. Child marriages, education of girls and violence against women are also among the basic subject of suspended women’s organizations.
There are associations of lawyers, businessmen, and other professional associations, as well as religious associations, and those working on education among the 370. Over 40 of them are from the province of Diyarbakır, the rest from 38 other provinces of the country. Over 1000 associations and foundations were already shut down right after the failed coup d’état.
“It is only some spaces that they have sealed off” goes the statement of women’s organizations, “we are everywhere.”