Peace and Beyond: Women’s Activist Alliances under Turkey’s “Regime of Emergency”
This essay begins with the formation of solidarities among women’s movements in Turkey during the period of the peace process. It focuses on events that took place between March 8, 2013, the beginning of the peace process, and March 8, 2017, when women activists in Turkey joined the International Women’s Strike. Despite the collapse of the peace process and the resumption of war in the summer of 2015, women activists continued to struggle under the Turkish government’s emergency regime. This essay addresses the ways in which the peace process and its termination affected relations among activist women, both Kurdish and non-Kurdish, as they have sought to confront Turkey’s “new” emergency regime. Many women’s groups lost their institutional footing due to the emergency regime’s forced closure of women’s organizations and its arrest of numerous activists, parliamentarians, and co-mayors. In this context, the essay demonstrates, women are left with no choice but to strengthen their alliances and to radicalize their movements against the state’s authoritarian regime.