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29 Oct

The newspaper Haberturk published a picture on October 11. 2012 showing two women dancing halay ( known a Turkish folk dance). The picture belongs to two female members of PKK and Haberturk published the picture with a headline which refers to homosexuals and includes a hate speech: ‘ Shocking images of two female PKK members.’

LamdaIstanbul LGBT, Istanbul LGBT Dayanisma Dernegi, Sosyalist Yeniden Kurulus ( SYK) and Sosyalist Feminist Kolektif ( SFK) gathered to protest Haberturk and its homophobic attitude. Participants state that not only Haberturk is a part of the homophobic print, but also Yeni Akit, Hurriyet and Zaman differentiate people on the basis of sexual orientations. Participants shouted slogans to express their feelings,

– Escinseller vardir, alisin artik! ( Homosexuals do exist, get used to it!)

– Genel ahlak kimin ahlaki? ( Whose moral values?)

For more information read here an article published at


29 Oct

Melek Karaaslan (24) had died due to domestic violence on July 25. Now, her husband, her father and her parent-in law were sued to life imprisonment.

Melek Karaaslan got married when she was 16. Ever since the beginning of her marriage, she suffered domestic violence. At the age of 18, she was forced to leave house by her husband and his family. She gave birth outside in the cold. Due to the extreme cold and the physical abuse, she gave birth to a dead baby. Even though Melek had tried to escaped her house and wanted to live with her own parents, her father asked her to be with her husband on the basis of the traditions. The violence did not stop. Melek Karaaslan fell to 30 kilos and lost her wits. On July 25, she had died as a result of the violence chain that she could not break on her own and could not get any help from her own parents.

For more information read here an article published at


16 Oct

European Court of Human Rights ordered Turkey to pay damages for 18.000 Euros over a prisoner who was held alone in a cell due to his sexual orientation.

The prisoner claims that he was put in a small and dirty cell and he was not allowed to join any kind of activity. He says that he only had the right to see his lawyer. After a while, due to his diagnosis for depression, he was sent to a mental institution where he spent a month. Later on, he was put in another cell to stay with another homosexual prisoner where both suffered verbal abuse over their sexual orientations by one of the guardians. And yet, after the complaints of the prisoner, he was put in a new cell which has solitary conditions.

For more information read here an article published at


10 Oct

On 6th of October some protesters living in Avcılar Meis blocks, organised a lynch attempt against transsexuals living in those blocks.

A group of people were invited public to lynch the transsexuals living in those apartments and there has been a crowd with 50-60 people in front of the blocks. One of the shouted catch phrases was “We die for our honor (namus)”.

Before 2 days of that hate crime was commited  on a tv show Mehmet Aydın had disclosed the adresses of transsexuals. Kaos gl made a press statement by asking “Will Avcılar be a new lynch area?” and said “housing rights of transgenders cannot be infringed.” 2 Days later of that press statement police did not interfere to that lynch attempt. Lots of people has learnt the situation from the social media and they went to Avcılar to support trans individuals.

The protesters which have shouted numbers of hate slogans announced that they will get together the following also.

Trans individuals living in Avcılar Denizköşkler neighbourhood announced that they will make an allegation, with LGBTT groups and human rights activists, againist Avcılar Police Department and for those who make the protests.

According to KAOS GL’s news the lynch attempt which was organised for the “honor of the neighbourhood” was in fact related with loss of annuity around that neighbourhood.

On 10th October, a member of parliament from İstanbul, Sabahat Tuncel interpallates “Is the transfobic hate in Avcılar being supported by the police headquarters?”

For more information read here and here.



14 Sep

Filiz Kerestecioglu, is now one of the lawyers, who has become a candidate for the chief of Istanbul Bar Association. The section of Istanbul, which belongs to the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, is one of the most influential.

For Filiz Kerestecioglu and also for the women in Istanbul it is a positive sign, because the new candidate is feminist and supports women rights. Her main word is “Peace”, which she uses in different contexts all over Turkey. She also initated some discussions about the patriarchy. Kerestecioglu  commented her candidation: “I am the candidate, because I want justice for everyone!”


8 Aug

A court finally decided to release Sevil Sevimli, a student who was arrested after she arrived in the northwestern province of Eskişehir from France as part of the Erasmus student exchange program. There are still 2824 more students serving time in jail, however.

A court decided to release Sevil Sevimli, a 21 year old French citizen and a student who was arrested on May 10 for her alleged involvement in the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) after she arrived in the northwestern province of Eskişehir from France as part of the Erasmus student exchange program.

The court issued its verdict to release Sevimli on Monday within the scope of the Third Judicial Reform Package.

A total of 2824 students are still serving time in Turkey’s jails as of Jan. 31, 2012, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said in response to a Parliamentary question posed by Özgür Özel, a deputy of the main opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP.)

Minister Ergin also provided further details with respect to the situation of arrested students in Turkey in his response:

*There are 1046 convicted and 1778 arrested students in jails across Turkey.

*609 arrested students are facing charges of “membership in an armed terrorist organization.”

*Courts have convicted 178 students on the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization.

For more information read here an article published at


22 Jun

This week the ministre of healthcare and the ministre of family and social politics announced that there will be no change in the abortion right respective the 10 weeks regulation. But cesarean will only be allowed in case of medical emergency.

Unfurtunately these are not yet the final decisions, so we have to wait until monday when the official statement will be delivered.

Report: Feminists Visit Uludere After the Massacre

19 Apr

In February of 2012, members of Amargi and other feminist organizations visited Uludere, a district in southeastern Turkey. They spoke to the family members of the victims that were killed on December 29th, 2011 by Turkish military forces. All of the victims were civilians, 19 of whom were children, and they were allegedly mistaken to be terrorists. The members of Amargi wrote a report documentıng their experiences, in which the family members clearly articulated what they wanted from the state: “They demand an official apology (which has still not been offered to them), they demand peace not revenge, they demand a fair investigation and trial process (which has not really started yet), they demand that people and authorities responsible for this massacre should be judged fairly and punished. They strongly object to take the compensation offered to them by the state for the ‘loss’ of the families.”


Full report:

21 women from different cities went to Roboski, a village of Uludere district in one of the southern cities of Turkey, Şırnak where 34 civilians (19 were children) were killed on December 29th, 2011 by the military forces of the state. After the incident, public authorities told that villagers who were doing border trade were thought to be ‘terrorists’ and were shot ‘accidentally’. The investigation still continues due to the presence of evidence (including the images recorded at the time of the incident) showing that it was not a mere ‘operational mistake’.

Members of Istanbul Feminist Collective, (İFK, İstanbul Feminist Kolektif) gathered at the airport on February 11th, 2012, very early in the morning and flied to Diyarbakır. Meeting with women from Diyarbakır and Van (cities in the east and south east), they got on a bus and started a nearly 8 hours of journey to the village. In Şırnak, they met with another woman from a local women’s organization (Zilan Women’s Association, Zilan Kadın Derneği) who had formerly called women from all over the country to come to Roboski through a feminist news program on TV (Purple News/ IMC TV, Mor Bülten/IMC TV), 10 days after the incident.  After this last stop in Şırnak, women headed to Uludere. Three activists from Amargi took place in this journey, as well.

When we arrived at Roboski, we were welcomed by a commitee in front of the mosque of the village. Both women and men greeted us in front of the door. Then, we went in to see all the acquintances of 34 villagers, holding their beloved one’s photos within frames. They were mostly mothers who carried the frames. Besides, there were sisters, wives, daughters, female cousins. They all stood side by side to welcome us. Thus, we offered our condolence to all of them one by one, each of us kissing, holding, and trying to have/ share a few words with all of the women standing there. Men sat on the other side of the mosque, greeting us as well. Then, we all sat and prayed for the ones who were killed. One of the feminists among us made a short speech stating the reason why we were there and offered our condolence again. While sitting together with women there, we talked and cried. Those who spoke Turkish among women from Roboski translated the sentences of Kurdish speaking villagers to us. Unfortunately, none of us spoke Kurdish. They told us whom they lost and the story of that very day briefly.

Villagers suggested that it was late to go and visit the graves as we formerly planned. Thus, it was decided that all of us would go to houses to spend the night. Forming nearly 6 groups, we all went to different houses, each group including 3 or 4 women.  During our stay at the houses, we had chance to talk more and try at least to share the sorrow. We had chance to talk to women more, as well. All the stories that women told us naturally started with the massacre but we also shared some stories about being a woman in Uludere. As feminists, we could realize that women from Roboski were not only ‘mourning mothers’ who lost their children contrary to how they are represented in the main-stream media or in most of the articles written about the massacre. They had an anger which motivated them to utter their political demands clearly from the state and from all people living in this land who keep being silent about the massacre and the investigation process which is going nowhere.

They demand an official apology (which has still not been offered to them), they demand peace not revenge, they demand a fair investigation and trial process (which has not really started yet), they demand that people and authorities responsible for this massacre should be judged fairly and punished. They strongly object to take the compensation offered to them by the state for the ‘loss’ of the families. Moreover, villagers in most of the houses told us that they will leave the country unless anything convincing is done for a fair trial before spring comes.

Everybody, especially children and women wanted us to stay more. However, we had to gather very early the next morning in the mosque again to set off. Most villagers told us that they were glad that we stayed overnight being guests at their houses since we had more time to talk and share. They said most of the groups visiting the village came and stayed for a few hours only and this makes it quite impossible to share the feeling and to tell what happened in details. They wanted us to tell and write about the things they told us. They are aware of the fact that the main-stream media has not told the story correctly and does not hear their voices and demands. They wanted us to make their demands visible and to tell them in a true way to those who are not aware of what did really happen at Roboski.

It was a very hard journey for all of us. However, visiting the village meant more than just being in solidarity with people of Uludere. It was a political necessity for feminists to go there and state their objection against the politics of war. After coming back, we organized a meeting in Istanbul with women and told them our impressions and experiences. We screened the intervies we recorded there with the villagers. Women among us also wrote some articles about the visit. One of them was written by an Amargi member.


22 Mar

Report for the Solidarity Work Conducted by Amargi After Earthquake in Van

On the 23rd of October, 2011 there was an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 in Van. This earthquake resulted in the death of many people and left many homeless by causing damage to, or destroying many buildings. It became clear that the work done in order to reorganize life in the area after the earthquake was inadequate in responding to the general needs of the public.  For this reason, many non-governmental organizations which work in different fields, started operating in the area in order to meet basic needs or provide psycho-social support. Though the political and social conditions of the area created certain difficulties, the support was continued. Throughout this process, non-governmental organizations which worked in fields relating to women also started organizing in order to provide trauma treatment and respond to the daily needs of women. Taking the patriarchal structure of the region into consideration, especially after a natural disaster, women’s responsibilities in organizing social life greatly increase. When the deprived conditions following a trauma are added to the daily housekeeping work women already do, such as taking care of children, cooking, cleaning, taking care of spouses, etc. supporting women becomes increasingly urgent. Due to these reasons, a group of feminists from within the Istanbul Feminist Collective – which is the common platform of feminist groups in Istanbul – willing to take care of this issue formed a communication network called vanpurplesolidarity in order to coordinate the work that would be carried out in the area. Through this network, information and new developments in the area were shared, while relief efforts and activities were also organized. As one of the organizations within the Istanbul Feminist Collective, Amargi was an active participant of the vanpurplesolidarity network.

After the meetings and information-sharing at Vanpurplesolidarity, the kinds of projects that could be conducted with regards to women in the area was discussed within Amargi as well. First of all, a monetary contribution was set aside for the container that the feminist collective bought to be used for womens’ work in Van. After this, a group of volunteers, which included those who had worked in disaster areas before and were knowledgeable and experienced in trauma treatment, was formed. This group received training and worked on new techniques in order to be able to conduct drama workshops with children, since this seemed to be the first and most necessary requirement for supporting women in the area. The primary aim in these trainings was to reach women who had to continue taking care of their children, and support them in various ways, as well as pass on the drama techniques to women who were already working in the area. Thus, an active human force that would be a partial response to the urgent need for post-traumatic socio-psychological support was formed within Amargi. A trainers training chain was formed for the drama workshops with children. Then, between 15-26 January, 10 volunteers who were to alternate among each other went to Van in order to work with the women and the children. The work here was organized in collaboration with VAKAD (Van Women’s Foundation). First, the volunteers worked in the distribution of food and clothing aid, which was run by Vakad. Then, a tent suitably large for working with women and children was set up in the neighbourhood and soon after the drama workshops with children began.

Voices from Van:

Hello to all,

I (Hatice), Medine and Beyza reached Van in the afternoon, on the 19th of January. First, we met up with a couple of friends from Vakad and talked about the general situation for a bit. Then, we met up with Fulya and our other friends and went directly to the activities tent. We found ourselves in the midst of the work that Birsen and Nurcan had already begun.  The place was more like a playground for children that a drama therapy workshop. We all had a lot of fun.

All our friends who had gone there before us, and all those who had been working in the area for a long while had already done all the groundwork. This made it easier for us to directly go into trauma therapy and workshops as soon as we got there.

This is how we organized ourselves:

We made a working plan for all the days we were to stay, which was:

Friday: At 11.00, with children in the People’s Center tent, at 15.00, with children in the Independent women’s tent,

Saturday: At 13.00, with young girls, at 14.00, with women,

Sunday: At 13.00, with young girls, at 15.00 with women

In the evenings, when we evaluated the whole day, we agreed on the following points:

We transformed the trauma therapy work into a means for bringing the children’s talents out into the open, for creating solidarity, for sharing, for spreading, and most importantly for doing whatever it was that the children themselves wanted to do. Hence, during workshops we observed that the children are very sharing, creative and energetic. We knew that we had to analyze the group dynamic very well, in order to make sure that some children who were trying to be leaders, were very interactive, and the center of attention due to the effects of the earthquake, did not stand in the way of those children who were shy, quiet and unable to express themselves also due to many reasons including the effects of the earthquake. We had to ensure that these children were also able to be themselves, be present, express themselves. We never spoke negatively with the children; we never told them not to do certain things, or not to shout, etc. For instance, when there were children who kept picking on and hitting those next to them, we would say “would you like to do kung-fu after this workshop?” and when there were children who kept asking when we would draw and demanding to make drawings that very instant, we would say “let this workshop end, then we will make drawings with those who want to.” And of course we did that. We saw that the children were able to concentrate better on the work at hand, and their ways of communicating with each other changed, became more about trying to understand each other.

First our friends shared their knowledge and experience with us about the local area, the groups we would work with and the specific needs of those groups. So, we were able to prepare the workshops in line with the needs and wishes of the groups, as well as the specifity of the local area.

As the working group, we made our preparations by sharing each other’s experiences, analyses and knowledge as well. Depending on how crowded the workshops were, we would be 2,3 or 4 facilitators at times. We would share an exercise to use in the workshop and whoever had shared a specific exercise would take the initiative and responsibility for that exercise during the workshop. We facilitators became participants at times, and sometimes we stayed out.

The work we did with young girls was also very productive and active. We saw that the participants were very open, willing and sharing. They themselves voiced this, and asked for the workshops to be longer and constant.

The work we did with the women was more rights-based. First of all, it was quite difficult to even be able to come together with the women because of the conditions of their daily life. Even though we weren’t able to meet up with a lot of women, we did have long, friendly chats with the women we did meet, talking about our rights and their needs.

Then, we decided it was necessary for us to do work in the neighbourhoods, and the next day Tuba, Nil and Başak begun. We also decided to have a separate workshop with the kids at the times when the women were to come. We were going to need a second activities tent for this. I believe it is either being set up nowadays, or it already has been.

We conducted great workshops, which were productive, responded to need and were also quite pleasant. We are very glad to have gone there, and we must now aim to make many, many re-visits possible.

My regards,



Hello from me also..:),

After we (Tuba, Nil, Başak), as the third group, reached Van we met with women from Vakad and from Amargi’s 2nd group in order to gather some general information about the situation. We discussed the work the other groups had done and the thoughts they had had. We needed different ideas and creative activities in order to work with the children, because the groups before us had already done most of the exercises and activities we knew of with the children. Repeating the same things would bore them. So, we sat down the very first day and made a list of what kind of activities we could do, and for which purposes. We made use of some drama books we had with us.

Since the children had nothing to do but go to school, when we were there the popularity of the tent almost doubled. What was 15 children in the beginning, quickly became 30-40 children. So, the first workshop we had, suffered from our inexperience. When we suddenly came up against a very large group we weren’t able to conduct a very productive workshop and we weren’t able to send the kids back that day either. After that, we split the group in half and decided to meet certain days a week. If we hadn’t done so, nobody’s energy would have been enough to cope with the situation. In our following workshops we came up with games for the younger kids, aged 7-10, in order to bring out their talents and have fun while doing so. These included enactments, imitations, thematic drawing, etc. With kids who were slightly older we focused on creating ideas, and discussing via techniques such as forum theatre. Our experience was that the way we related to children during group-work that allowed us to interact with them on a one-on-one basis was much healthier than having activities that addressed the children a whole. We had just started to get to know them more closely when we came back here. We thought staying longer would have been better. At least for one more week… Now as we move on, we might like to take this into consideration.

In order to meet up with the women we first went and knocked on their doors, one by one. We visited their homes. Due to how heavy their workload is, in the house or in the tent, they cannot leave to go anywhere. We suddenly found ourselves pursuing methods of insistence that ranged from taking the women by the arm and bringing them with us to begging their mothers-in-law for permission..:) Our methods worked and we were able to meet with about 20 women. However, since most of them had little children, they brought them along as well and there was total chaos in the tent. In spite of the noise, we were able to talk about rights after an earthquake, and a friend of ours who was a woman and a lawyer joined us for the discussion. It especially was clear that there were difficulties around issues like reading, writing and going to necessary institutions and state offices. We said that we would be able to be in solidarity by providing support from the central Vakad office. Information was given about what to do when lawyers were needed, etc.

The second tent which has now been set up, shall prove to be quite valuable in having meaningful and productive gatherings with the women. It is very important to continue working with the children. In general, we had quite productive workshops, formed valuable friendships, and most importantly we all felt the power of solidarity once again.

My regards,


Back From Van

26 Jan

Our members have now returned from a succesful trip to Van. They have told us that conditions are better than expected and that they were able to help provide support for women and children.

Women from Van send their greetings and please visit the blog again next week for more details on the trip.