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News and Views: Turkey

Turkey: Vendetta Song

July 13, 2012

A young Turkish woman, now resident in Canada, travels to Turkey in an attempt to unravel the story behind her aunt Guzide's murder, some 30 years earlier in a remote Kurdish village.

As she searches for clues and closure, she encounters antiquated customs in a Kurdish culture she has never known. She knows that her aunt was a victim of a senseless vendetta killing and as she ventures from village to village she pieces together the woman's final days and closes in on the identity of her killer.

Turkey: Women Blow Whistle on Rights Crackdown

July 17, 2012

Beating drums and blowing whistles, hundreds of women marched last month on Istanbul's central Taksim Square, in one of dozens of rallies that have been held around the country to protest a new threat to reproductive rights.

Turkey: Prime Minister Seeks Limits on Abortion

May 30, 2012

ISTANBUL - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sparked a strong response from women's rights activists after calling for legislation to restrict women's access to the procedure. The future of abortion is now in question in Turkey.

Hundreds of women protesters demonstrated outside the Istanbul office of Prime Minister Erdogan. The protest followed his strong attack on abortion at a congress of his party in a football stadium in Istanbul Sunday.  

Turkey: WGNRR Expresses Concern on the Turkish Government Statements Threatening Women's Human Rights

June 1, 2012

On May 25th, Turkish journal "Today’s Zaman" published Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, statement considering abortion a crime and called on society to be against abortion. This declaration was held during the Fifth International Parliamentarians’ Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Istanbul where 300 members of parliament from 110 countries reiterating their commitment to achieve the goals laid out in the ICPD Programme of Action adopted in Cairo, Egypt in 1994. 

Turkey: Women See Worrisome Rise in Domestic Violence

April 25, 2012

ISTANBUL — Gokce, a soft-spoken 37-year-old mother of two, has lived on the run for 15 years, ever since her abusive husband tracked her down, broke down her door and shot her in the leg six times after she refused to return to him.

Culture versus Rights Dualism: a myth or a reality?

April 25, 2012

Women’s human rights discourse and movements have become entangled within a culture-versus-rights dualism. Yakin Ertürk argues that this is a false dualism which serves both private patriarchy and public patriarchy of neo-liberal globalisation. Yakin Ertürk serves on the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture ↑ .She was the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences, from 2003 -2009, and until recently Professor of Sociology at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

Join VNC for 2 events April 21st at the AWID Forum in Istanbul, Turkey

April 8, 2012

Join VNC for two events on 21 April 2012, at the AWID Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. We'll be hosting a talk show on "The Nexus between Culture, Gender and Other Identities: Resisting Discrimination and Reclaiming Space", as well as a workshop on "Visioning Cultures Free from Violence: Transnational Advocacy and Communications using Visual Arts and Digital Media". Full details below.

Turkey: Victim vs. victor: What does TV say about domestic violence?

December 18, 2011

Being a woman in Turkey is no easy task. What is even more difficult, however, is the life of a woman on Turkish primetime TV.

Can Turkey Make Its Mosques Feminist?

December 11, 2011

"This is about mosques being a space for women," declared Kadriye Avci Erdemli, Istanbul's deputy mufti, the city's second most powerful administrator of the Islamic faith. "When a woman enters a mosque, she is entering the house of God and she should experience the same sacred treatment. In front of God, men and women are equal; they have the same rights to practice their religion."

Council of Europe Convention calls for hotlines, shelters, medical and forensic services

September 1, 2011

Hamiyet, a member of Turkey’s Kurdish minority, was a 15-year-old newlywed when her husband began beating her every evening after work. He hit her when she was pregnant with each of their nine children, and he raped her almost nightly. She sought help from the police, but they always sent her back home, more concerned with preserving “family unity” than with her safety.

Turkey: Headscarf Continues as Political Issue

January 31, 2011

ANKARA, Jan 31, 2011 (IPS) - A ruling by an administrative court banning female candidates for academic posts from being veiled during an admission examination has brought the headscarf back to the front of Turkish politics, and reignited tensions between secularist and religious forces. 

LGBT Activists in Turkey Launch Ground-Breaking Publication

September 3, 2010


Speaking in his apartment in a suburb of Diyarbakir, in southeastern Turkey, Solin and his colleague Koya are so scared of being identified that they will not allow even an obscured photograph of themselves to be published. Nor do they want their real names to be known. “People here see homosexuality as a poison - a disease,” says Solin, the ash of his cigarette making a quick, quiet hiss as he taps it into a jar of water.

Turkey and USA: American therapist calls solidarity of Turkish women ‘remarkable’

June 15, 2010


“The idea of namus may not, strictly speaking, be a Muslim idea. Usually translated as ‘honor,’ the word namus is actually a word with no direct translation in English.

It means virginity, purity, integrity and honor. An emphasis on a woman’s virginity and sexual purity certainly predates Islam and is an idea that is common to many cultural groups and ethnicities, whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish or otherwise,” says Professor Leyla Welkin, who is conducting group therapy with sexually abused women in Ankara.

Turkish girl, 16, buried alive for talking to boys

Death reopens debate over 'honour' killings in Turkey, which account for half of all the country's murders

The hole where a 16-year-old girl was buried alive by her relatives in Adiyaman, southeastern Turkey.

By Robert Tait (Istanbul)

Turkish police have recovered the body of a 16-year-old girl they say was buried alive by relatives in an "honour" killing carried out as punishment for talking to boys.

Europe & Turkey - The Burqa - Several Countries Prohibit or Regulate

The burqa is usually prohibited by local ordinances on behalf of the need to see the faces. But the simple veil, who does not hide the face, is widely accepted in the world

Banning the burqa? Almost all European countries have considered. And took measures to severely restrict the wearing of this garment that completely covers the head and body of women, a fence hiding their eyes.


Onal Found Remorse Among Turkish 'Honor' Killers

Onal Found Remorse Among Turkish 'Honor' Killers
Run Date: 05/18/09
By Anna Louie Sussman
WeNews correspondent

Ayse Onal shines light on Turkish 'honor' killings

Journalist Ayse Onal's work, which got her blacklisted, has ranged from Kurdish separatism to Turkish Hizballah. Her recent book and documentary about "honor" killings taps into regrets of men who carry out these killings.

ISTANBUL, Turkey (WOMENSENEWS)--For years, coverage of so-called honor killings in Turkey took the perpetrator's side, describing them as heroes and their victims--typically young women accused of harming their family's social standing by committing adultery or engaging in premarital sex--as deserving of their bloody fate.

Top court lenient on 'honor killing'

ISTANBUL - The top appeals court has upheld a lower court’s decision to be lenient on those who are found guilty of honor killing because the two families in Diyarbakır involved in the case faced s

Blood feuds plague Kurdish regions

A massacre in the village of Bilge was the bloodiest example to date of the barbaric way in which disputes between rival clans are settled. Masked assailants gunned down 44 people -- including the bride and groom and six children -- in the village square last week.

Bilge -- Honour comes before everything in Kurdish regions of Turkey and blood is cleansed with blood -- with a machine gun if necessary.

Feudal tradition still causing reprisal killings in Southeast Turkey

The country and the people of the southeastern village of Bilge in the province of Mardin, where a massacre took place, killing 44 people in an engagement party, mourn the deaths as they question what kind of customs could have caused such an atrocity; clan rivalry and feud have been mentioned as the possible cause of the mass killings.

Turkish law replaces honor killing with suicides

Unreported World travels to Turkey to investigate honour killings, which have now reached record levels, with more than 200 girls and women killed in the past year alone. And in a chilling new development, the programme highlights how a new law outlawing honour killings, passed as part of the Government's attempts to join the EU, may have led to a huge increase in girls being forced to commit suicide instead.

Media help escalate honor killings, study reveals

A study titled "Honor Killings in the Media and Their Impact on Students and Parents" conducted by the Ministry of Education has revealed that parents believe the media play a role in increasing the number of honor killings.

Women’s Platform against Sexual Violence Formed

The Women’s Platform against Sexual Violence aims to create deterrents against harrassment and rape, as well as putting an end to victimisation.

Bıa news centre - İstanbul


Shift in 'honour' killings

When certain practices are rampant in a society, it requires a paradigm shift in public thinking to get them outlawed.

Turks turn blind eye to 'honour killings'

When a Turkish man rescued his daughter after she was abducted by a gang that forced her into prostitution, he was hailed a hero by many in the country. But people in his own home region of south-eastern Anatolia turned against him, because he refused to do what traditional laws of family honour say must be done in a case like this: kill the girl.

“My daughter did not go voluntarily,” the man, who did not want to be identified in order to protect his 18-year-old daughter, told Turkish newspapers last month. “Why should I kill her?”

Hundreds of honour killings in Turkey since 2001: report

ANKARA: Honour killings have claimed the lives of nearly 350 men and women in Turkey since 2001, a report said this week.

Justice in the making: Avenging crimes against women in Turkey

Late last month, when a jurist representing Turkey's highest court in a briefing to the Justice Ministry suggested reducing Turkey's legal marriage age for women to 14 and reducing the penalties for sexual attackers who agree to marry the woman they rape, the backlash from women's organizations and gender equality groups was enormous.

Turkey: 'Special teams' to stop honor killings

A special team formed by an association will operate in the southeastern province of Mardin to stop honor killings. “Emergency action teams,” formed by the Association for Preventing Honor Crimes and Validating Female Potential, or TÖDER, will be working in 20 villages around Mardin. The team includes the village’s teacher, opinion leader, nurse and reverend.