Case of ‘traditional dress’ continues: ‘We can’t wear shorts or traditional dresses without violence’

Hikmet Tunç

VAN-Two shopkeeper women who wanted to join the rally for March 8 with their traditional dress, Hanife Güzel and Zeriye Yobaş, are on trial for alleged propaganda for a terrorist organization. They protested and said: “Who gives you the right to mess with our clothes?”

Hanife Güzel and Zeriye Yobaş, who attended the rally in Van for March 8 International Women’s Day, were arrested and then released. After an investigation started due to Hanife and Zeriye’s traditional dress, the first hearing was seen last week.

‘My intent was to add color to that day’

Hanife defended herself in Van 4th Heavy Penal Court. She said that she sewed traditional dress with yellow, red and green (Kurdish national colors) especially for Women’s Day. Hanife said the red star on the dress doesn’t stand for propaganda. “My purpose was just to attend with my own colors and add color to Women’s Day. Anyway before I entered the rally area, I was arrested by police,” Hanife said.

Zeriye also had the same red star emblem on her clothes. She was also stopped by police.

‘The red star has a universal value’

Naim Çalı, who is one of the women’s lawyers, said that it can’t be seen as propaganda because the red star has a universal value and crimes of propaganda are intentionally committed crimes. The court decided that the case will be heard on December 13.

‘Who gives you the right to mess with our clothes?’

Hanife commented on the case after the hearing. “I wanted to attend with my own colors on my own day. The police insulted us before we entered the area. When we wear shorts, we face male violence, when we wear traditional dress the police insult us. Who gives you the right to mess with our clothes?” said Hanife.

In conclusion, Hanife said: “ We sue the police who insulted us and arrested us. We couldn’t celebrate our own day.”