We will make Istanbul a women’s city

The HDP is engaged in election activities under the slogan “the city is yours” with aims such as “local administration with direct democracy”, “Ensuring popular participation in the administration” and “Developing local government on the basis of social needs”. The HDP’s Metropolitan Municipality co-mayoral candidate P?nar Ayd?nlar, standing along with co-candidate S?rr? Süreyya Önder, assessed the contribution of the co-presidential system to the representation of women, the HDP’s concept of local government and its projects.

A new world where women are actively involved

Ayd?nlar said that the co-presidential system implemented by the HDP was an indication of the reality of women in the world and that the freeing of women was seen as the freeing of society. Ayd?nlar added that with this system the productive aspect of women had emerged more actively, saying: “The HDP is waging a serious political struggle as regards women imprisoned in their homes, young women slaughtered in so-called honour killings and the generality of women’s problems. We want to be involved in local government because we believe we will be able to establish a new world where women are actively involved.”

Ayd?nlar said: “Istanbul is, in fact, a women’s city. It is also the capital of struggle and has welcomed many people from the region. Through the ‘the city is yours’ project we will demonstrate that Istanbul is a women’s city.”

You cannot ignore the wishes of the people

Ayd?nlar pointed out that current local authorities implemented a centralised model imposed from above. “We saw the latest example of this in Gezi Park. They tried to give the park away to the rich. The opposition to this showed that you cannot do things that the people oppose.”

Ayd?nlar continued: “It is necessary for us as women to be in the front line in the struggle to protect the city, as the government is trying to take possession of our bodies, and even telling us how many children to have. We therefore call on all women to unite under the HDP banner.”

The people will be monitors

Ayd?nlar said that the “We are governing ourselves and our city” project involved monitoring committees being established, adding: “The people will have a say. They will raise the the problems and find solutions. We will only offer support. We will also introduce a concept of local government that treats everyone equally and ends the sub-contracting mentality.”

Ayd?nlar said that with this model they were also saying to the forces of capital and the powers that be: “Now be quiet! Because we are aware of how you have ruled us. You have tried to exploit us and sell the sweat and labour of the poor to the rich for next to nothing, while keeping us unaware of the conditions in which we live. You have constantly denied our existence.” Ayd?nlar added: “We will make clear that everyone is equal and that no community has different rights to another.”

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