She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
Pervin Buldan’s political life began when her husband was murdered on 3 June 1994. This killing alerted her to the dirty war waged in Turkey. She first joined the Saturday Mothers, the relatives of those who had disappeared. She then worked at Mag-der, an association to assist these relatives, which was subsequently closed by the state. In spite of many difficulties, Yakay-der, the Center of Support and Solidarity for the Family Members of Forcibly Disappeared People was founded in 2002, and Pervin became president. She is also the mother of two children.
She says: “Our struggle is hard and full of sorrow. But there are instances that give so much power and hope. These moments let us stand up again after having fallen down”.
Listen her speak on this turkish video: DTP’li vekilin arabasıyla uyuşturucu ticareti, 3.03 min, January 02, 2008.
Pervin Buldan – Turkey
She was born on 6 November 1967 in the southeastern province of Hakkari, Turkey. There she grew up, went to school and started to work as an official in the local government administration department. At the age of 19, she married her cousin Savas Buldan. The couple moved from the eastern part of the country to the western metropolis of Istanbul in 1990, where Pervin Buldan was a full-time housewife. There, Pervin’s husband became a well-known Kurdish businessman, who was well liked because of his willingness to help oppressed people. One year later, Pervin’s first child, Necirvan, was born.
In 1993, her life turned into chaos after the former Prime Minister of Turkey, Tansu Ciller, made a speech declaring that the government had a list of businessmen supporting the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) whom they would hold accountable. After that speech, Savas received a series of threatening telephone calls. The period of “killings by unidentified murderers” against businessmen, including Savas Buldan, began.
On 3 June 1994, Pervin’s husband Savas and his two friends, Adnan Yildirim and Haci Karay were abducted by eight policemen after leaving the Hotel Cinar in Yesilkoy. One day later, their dead bodies were found in Bolu, at the edge of the river Melen. They carried scars of heavy torture and had been shot in the head. Was it coincidence or fortune that Pervin Buldan gave birth to her daughter, Zelal on the same day? Zelal opened her eyes to the world at the moment that her father closed his. She never saw her father alive, nor did Savas ever get to see her.
The murder of her husband opened Pervin’s eyes to the dirty war that was being waged in Turkey, a war making countless victims ever day. It was then that Pervin decided to fight so that others need not suffer her pain.
The State and the Governments did nothing to find the perpetrators of such murders and other criminal acts. The Susurluk Report, which was put on the agenda after the Susurluk Accident, and which examined the “gangs within the State” did nothing but legitimize these crimes. Families of those missing were called “separatists” and human rights activists were branded as “traitors” and punished by courts.
Countless people, who were taken into custody by policemen or soldiers with police radios and guns in their hand, were taken away and eliminated.
Their families and friends had no inkling about their whereabouts. Some of them were seen as they were taken into custody, but hardly anyone was registered in the precincts or military offices. People who were taken by military special services were never again seen. During the Kurdish people’s fight for identity, the “Serhildans” (uprising), the number of missing people also increased.
As her first action, Pervin decided to join the “Saturday Mothers,” who sat down on the streets in Galatasaray with the pictures of their disappeared relatives every week on Saturday. They won the support of the public, which prompted the State to forbid their protests.
After achieving no concrete results in the Saturday Mothers, Pervin and her friends realized the need to institutionalize their protest and founded the association, MAG-DER. However, this association was suppressed by the State after it made a press statement. Afterwards, investigations against the members of its administrative committee were ordered.
Lawsuits were filed against officials of the police and constabulary from 1993 to 1996, including the former President of the Republic, Suleyman Demirel and the Prime Minister, Tansu Ciller. Again, investigations against the MAG-DER were made. While these were going on, and in spite of all the difficulties and obstacles, Yakay-Der (Center of Support and Solidarity for the Family Members of Forcibly Disappeared People) was founded.
It aims to solve the murders and bring to justice and punishment those who are responsible. Peace and justice require that crimes against humanity be uncovered. The association believes that the identification of these murderers will strengthen the democratization and the peace process in Turkey.
“Murders by unidentified murderers” unfortunately are not only a practice of the past. While these murders intensified in the early 1990s, people sometimes still disappear today without a trace, after being arrested or brought to the police station.
Pervin Buldan shows solidarity with people who have lost their relatives and supports them through Yakay-Der, both materially and morally. But her work is not limited to assostance. The association’s goal is “to stop the war” altogether, so that no one will have to live through its cruelty. It fights for peace actively on the social and political level.
No doubt, the struggle for peace and against war is not trouble free. Pervin has been arrested and subjected to violence by the police several times. This oppression, however, has not deterred her from continuing her activities. Today, she is still the president of Yakay-Der. She published a book about “murders by unidentified murderers” in Turkey under the title “His hands Were Warm.”
She regularly works together with different non-governmental organizations (NGOs), democratic organizations and political parties (1000peacewomen).
She says also: “I do not believe Ciller does not know Catli” … and: “Ciller’s denial that she knew Abdullah Catli is ‘a monstrous lie”, and adds: “Was it not Ciller who proclaimed Catli a hero” … and she tells, her husband had sensed he was in danger and after Canturk was murdered he used to say it would be his turn next. But, he never left Turkey despite the dangers, because of the responsibility he felt towards his family’ … (Victims of Susurluk, part 2).
Pervin Buldan, 6 Kasım 1967′de Hakkâri’de doğdu. Babasının adı Halis, annesinin adı Lütfiye’dir. Lise mezunu. Yakınlarını Kaybeden Ailelerle Yardımlaşma ve Dayanışma Derneği (Yakay-Der) Başkanlığı görevinde bulundu. 2005 yılında Nobel Barış Ödülü’ne aday gösterildi. Buldan, dul ve 2 çocuk annesidir. (full text).
Eşlerini faili meçhul cinayetlerde kaybeden DTP Iğdır Milletvekili Pervin Buldan ile CHP Ankara Milletvekili Güldal Mumcu, faili meçhul cinayetlerin aydınlatılması için yapılması gereken çalışmalara ilişkin Meclis’te bir araya geldi. Yaklaşık 45 dakika süren ve basına kapalı gerçekleştirilen görüşmeye ilişkin bilgi veren Pervin Buldan, ‘Faili meçhul cinayetlerin aydınlatılması için ne yapılabileceği’ üzerinde durduklarını söyledi. Buldan: “Bu çalışmanın sadece Savaş Buldan ve Uğur Mumcu cinayeti kapsamında değil yaşanan yüzlerce faili meçhul cinayetin aydınlatılması için yapılması gerektiğini belirttik. Savaş Buldan davası zaten AİHM’de kazanılmış bir dava. Türkiye’de hiçbir yol kat edilmedi. Uğur Mumcu davası da bir yerde tıkanmış” dedi. (full text).