12th of April: Worldwide Solidarity Day with Pinar Selek

9 Apr

If your organization wants to sign our call or wants to organize an action/demonstration this saturday (April 12) please contact Ms Yesim Basaran (yesim.tuba@gmail.com), Ms Karin Karakasli (karinkarakasli@yahoo.com) and Mr Onur Fidangul (ofidangul@iglhrc.org) on the issue.

For more info on the Pinar Selek case, you can check out this link where you can find news in English, German, French, Italian and more.

Hala Tanığız Platformu


Adana Kadın Dayanışma Merkezi ve Sığınmaevi Derneği (AKDAM)
Ankara Feminist Kolektif
Antalya Pembe Caretta LGBTQ
Avrupa Kadın Lobisi Türkiye Koordinasyonu
Barış İçin Kadın Girişimi
Bodrum Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
Boğaziçi Gösteri Sanatları Topluluğu (BGST)
Eğitim-Sen İstanbul 2 No’lu Şube Kadın Komisyonu
Flu Baykuş
Hala Tanığız Platformu
HDK Kadın Meclisi
HDK Kadın Meclisi
Helsinki Yurttaşlar Dernegi
KA.DER Ankara
KA.DER Genel Merkez
Kadın Dayanışma Vakfı
Kadınlarla Dayanışma Vakfı
Kaos GL
Karadeniz Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
Keskesor LGBT
Lambdaistanbul LGBTİ Dayanışma Derneği
Lambdaistanbul LGBTİ Dayanışma Derneği
Mimar Sinan Güzel Sanatlar Fakültesi Kadın Araştırmaları Kulübü (MSGSÜ KAK)
Muğla Kadın Dayanışma Grubu
Pembe Hayat LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği
Sosyal Politikalar Cinsiyet Kimliği ve Cinsel Yönelim Çalışmaları Derneği (SPoD)
Sosyalist Feminist Kolektif (SFK)
Türkiye Homenet Ev-Eksenli Çalışan Kadınlar Dayanışma Ağı
Van Kadın Derneği
Yeşiller Sol Kadın
Yeşiller ve Sol Gelecek Partisi
Amities Kurdes Lyon et Rhônes-Alpes (Lyon ve Rhone-Alpes Bölgesi Kürt Dostluk Derneği)
Internatinal Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)


Call for Pınar Selek trial at the Supreme Court

25 Mar

Dear Madam/Sir;  

As you know, Pınar Selek sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment in January 2013, despite being acquitted of the same charge three times in the past. Experts called to speak on the case frequently posited that the explosion was not caused by a bomb, but by a gas leak.   Pınar Selek’s lawyers appealed against the sentence but the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeal made a judicial request for the approval of Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court’s recent verdict sentencing Pınar Selek to aggravated life imprisonment despite lawyers arguing that the Kafkaesque judicial procedure breached all known international and Turkish standards concerning double jeopardy and criminal trials.   Last year’s final verdict, which was handed down in spite of chief judge Vedat Yılmazabdurrahmanoğlu’s opposition, stirred great outrage both inside and outside Turkey. Yılmazabdurrahmanoğlu rejected the verdict on the grounds that there was a lack of proof that the explosion was even caused by a bomb, but he was outvoted by his colleagues on the court board.   Following the ruling, the Turkish Justice Ministry issued a red notice for Selek’s capture and applied to French authorities for her extradition. The red notice request of Ministry of Justice rejected by Interpol recently.   Now, Pınar Selek, who was not asked a single question about the explosion, became the only suspect convicted in this case! This example signifies how Pınar Select has been blatantly targeted. Although the forensic evidence and analysis concluded that there was no criminal conduct, the system strived to create a criminal. Pınar Selek was criminalized even before the construction of this crime.   All these acts of injustice have aimed to turn a peace activist into a mass murderer in the eyes of the public. Rather than put an end to the injustice that has wounded the public’s conscience, the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals inexplicably revoked the recent ruling of acquittal and made a judicial request to approve Pınar Selek’s sentencing to aggravated life imprisonment.   We are now in the most critical situation. If the Supreme Court approves the local court’s ruling against Pınar Selek, there will be only one more way to appeal against the approval of the ruling and we will have a very small chance to change the decision. There will be only one hearing at the Supreme Court and then the Supreme Court will announce its ruling on the case. So we kindly urge you to come to Ankara or to send observers to the Pinar Selek’s hearing which will be held on 30th of April, 2014 at 09:00 a.m. at Supreme Court Criminal Chamber No: 9. We do need your support and it can be our last chance to support Pinar Selek. Any of your contribution will be vital.   We are trying to organize the stay of the observers in Ankara. We have enough houses to host the observers. Ms Ulku Ozakin is responsible of organizing the stay in Ankara. You can contact Ulku Ozakin (uozakin@gmail.com)about your stay. If you like to stay at hotel, we have already found cheap hostels to stay (10 Euro for one person for one night). We are trying to find free hotel also if our houses are not enough. Members of LGBT and feminist organizations and leftist parties are volunteers for your stay in Ankara like in Istanbul.   Please do write Ms Ulku Ozakin for the organization of Ankara. And please cc every message to me and Ms Yesim Basaran (Yesim.tuba@gmail.com). I personally will be in Ankara one day before the trial. We hope we can arrange a meeting before the trial. We will write you about the details as soon as we can arrange everything.   We would like to preserve our trust in justice as we did throughout the 16-year trial and persecution of Pınar Selek. Thus, we urgently reiterate our request to fix this huge and terrible mistake. We demand Pınar Selek to be acquitted once and for all.   We do hope that you can come to the trial to support justice. We are looking forward to your respond.  

Yasemin Öz-Attorney at Law International Spokesperson of Pınar Selek Solidarity Committee-Turkey

Research Project: “Comparing the women’s movements in different cities in Turkey.”

25 Mar

Research project on women’s movements in Turkey receives founding by Mercator foundation. The project will start in 2014 in the Unit of Intercultural Education at the University of Bremen, Germany. 

Project Management: Prof. Dr. Yasemin Karakaşoğlu
Responsible Researcher: Charlotte Binder, Aslı Polatdemir
Funding: Stiftung Mercator as part of the research group on “Contemporary Turkey Studies”
Duration: January 2014 till December 2016

The research project focuses on women who are committed to gender equality in Turkey and asks how they perceive their situation and their options for agency.
The project explores the social structures and backgrounds of the respective women’s movements, their institutional affiliation and goals, the importance of transnational relations as well as current themes, approaches and underlying ideologies in a internally comparative perspective.
Case studies of the women’s movements in the major cities Ankara and Diyarbakir and in two rural regions of Turkey are analysed with qualitative methods.
The aim of the research is to gain insight into the influence of different socio-economic and political conditions on women’s movements in transnational, urban and rural space.
In 2016, a multilingual project report, a press pack and a multilingual website about women’s movements and gender politics in Turkey will be presented to the interested (professional) public in Germany and Turkey, intending to contribute to a contemporary and more informed image of Turkey in the country itself, Germany and Europe. A final event is a workshop with scientists and representatives of Women’s NGOs from Turkey and Germany to discuss the results of the project, developing common strategies and collaborations to be initiated.
The project builds on previous research by Charlotte Binder about the International Women’s Day in Berlin and Istanbul.

For more information about the project click here (English) or here (German).

Pinar Selek’s lawyers will appeal to the Supreme Court

29 Jan

You have sentenced as the one and only our Pınar alone to life imprisonment

The life sentence you have given is null and void

We stand by Pınar’s acquittal

Our struggle continues

There has been a new scandalous court judgment in the Spice Bazaar case which has turned into a never-ending story in fifteen years: Pınar Selek alone has been given a life sentence. Let us recall that Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court had given Pınar Selek an acquittal for a third time on February 9, 2011.  The Court had revoked its own final ruling of acquittal on November 22, 2012 violating both procedural and criminal law.

After the court acted again against due process and rejected the demand of recusal from Pınar Selek’s lawyers, today, in the hearing on January 24, 2013 the acquittal of Abdülmecit Öztürk, the other defendant in the Spice Bazaar explosion was confirmed on the grounds that his acquittal was not appealed to the Supreme Court. Then  the court went on to hand down a life sentence for Pınar Selek alone concerning the Spice Bazaar case. In this way, the other defendant’s testimony that was obtained under torture and subsequently denied in open court was not accepted as valid evidence by the court for him. However, the very same testimony that was deemed invalid in the case of Öztürk was taken as a valid basis for the judgment against Pınar Selek. Chief Judge of the Court offered a dissenting opinion and voted in favor of Pınar Selek’s acquittal on the grounds that the Court had the right to insist on its acquittal ruling and that there was no adequate evidence for a conviction. However, based on the votes of the other two judges in the Board, the court issued the verdict with a two to one majority. But this is not the final judgment; domestic ways of seeking legal recourse have not yet been exhausted and this unlawful verdict will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

For those of us who observed this gross miscarriage of justice with outcry at the courthouse, as well as for the public opinion in Turkey and across the world, this ruling is totally worthless. Moreover this most recent verdict is also legally null and void. The same local court has not hesitated in issuing two contradictory rulings—insisting upon the acquittal and compliance with the decision to revoke the acquittal. For this reason, we stand by the last ruling of acquittal on February 9, 2011.

Our struggle for law and justice will resolutely continue during the appeal process at the Supreme Court with growing national and international support. We underline that Pınar Selek’s innocence lasts as always. Seeing that Pınar Selek is tried to be converted into the victim of a big political operation, we also declare that we will never let go of our friend Pınar’s hand. After all, a country where oppression is imposed on us in the name of justice is a prison for us all!

We are still Witnesses” Platform

“Feminist Discussions 2012” is now published

27 Jan

As a result of the feminist discussions which where held in 2012 a book is published.

To get more information you can contact esenozdemr@gmail.com and begumm.ac@gmail.com.

The book is free of charge, you just have to pay for the shipping costs.

Also you can pick it up at Amargi directly which is still open until end of January.

The book is in Turkish. 

Buch Feminizm Tartismalari 2012

Pınar Selek Receives Life Sentence

27 Jan

An Istanbul court ordered life sentence for sociologist Pınar Selek for her involvement in the 1998 Spice Bazaar explosion, a case that has reopened three times in 14 years.

To get more information read the article at bianet.org.

Here you can read and watch the public statement Pınar Selek made on January 25th, 2013, after the decision of life sentence.

Article about Gender Equality in Turkey

27 Dec

In this article by Meltem Müftüler-Baç, professor at Sabanci University in Istanbul, you can read more about the situation of women in Turkey and legislation processes regarding gender equality.


“This note reviews gender equality in Turkey with a focus on the existing legislation and programs. The issue of gender equality in Turkey is particularly important for Turkey’s adoption of EU norms and acquis. The main challenges in this respect are violence against women, equal opportunities at the work place, paid and unpaid labour, hidden forms of discrimination and access to political decision-making and representation.”