She is a member of the Turkish Party HDP and she is the first mayor in the town Kocaköy (South-East Turkey), where she was born. Frauenmesse.com had the opportunity to interview Berivan Elif Kilic about elections and the role of the women in her country.
frauenmesse.com: Most Germans do not know a lot about the Turkish elections – unless they have relatives in this country or they are very interested in politics for example. So, would you like to give an information, what the Kurdish engagement is different from the Turkish?
Berivan Elif Kilic: In Turkey, most of time the men guide the elections. Women have had a very little effect so far. But, BDP brought co-heading system in 2014 elections. Thanks to this system, women got the equal rights with men. According to me, this is an important revolution not only in Turkey but also in the world and this was managed by the Kurds.
If we talk about equality between men and women, both men and women should gain equal rights in politics. On 7 June 2015, Turkey had general elections and Kurds, for the first time, have place in parliament and 40% of parliamentarians are women in HDP. Even the women’s rights are supported in Turkey, women have actually no rights in this country. For instance, when I divorced, my rights were ignored and now I have no rights while trying to look after my children. In Turkey, women are not important as men but Kurds are against to this. Therefore, this is the big difference between Kurds and Turks.
frauenmesse.com: Is a women in this election more restricted than a man?
Berivan Elif Kilic: Yes, actually women are always in the background.
frauenmesse.com: What are your concerns in this election?
Berivan Elif Kilic: My expectations from new elections are peace, justice, and welfare.
frauenmesse.com: Do you feel, that women are more likely to go into politics in your country today?
Berivan Elif Kilic: Kurd women join the politics much more, because they choose to struggle to have freedom. This freedom is not only for themselves but the other women in the society.
frauenmesse.com: Mrs. Kilic, thank you very much for your time and the interview.