We, the undersigned 1166 NGOs from 42 Member states of the Council of Europe1, are writing to express our shock and concern at the challenge made to the universal recognition of discrimination and inequality as the causes and consequences of violence against women and girls and its inclusion in the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). This challenge was made in a letter sent to you recently by 333 NGOs in 9 Member states of the Council of Europe.

The rights’ defenders in detention are not alone! İlknur, Nalan, Özlem, İdil and all rights defenders must be released -immediately!

On 5 July 2017, 10 rights’ defenders, including our friends, and Women’s Coalition members, İlknur Üstün and Nalan Erkem, were detained while at a civilian society training session. Our friends, who for many years contributed to the women’s rights struggle, and worked with dedication for many changes and transformations in favour of women in Turkey, were subjected to many unlawful practices while in detention. For instance, although they were detained at 9:30, the detention order was issued at 14:30. Our friends were withheld for 24 hours before they could communicate with their families and lawyers, and no information whatsoever was provided regarding their whereabouts. Our friends, rights’ defenders, were targeted with preposterous and delusive accusations by the media and some politicians with the accusation of being “members of an armed terrorist organization”. The initial 7-day period for their detention was extended another 7 days on July 11.



Ten human rights and women’s rights NGO members including our feminist fellow İlknur Üstün were detained by the police during a raid directed to a meeting on digital security and human rights.

 İlknur Üstün was at the said meeting to represent Women’s Coalition, which is a network that struggles for the equal participation of women in social and political life and which also includes Mor Çatı as a component. She has also worked in many humanistic areas including the struggle with violence against women and contributed a great deal to women’s studies.

We regretfully condemn that our friends making efforts for advocacy and the empowerment of civil society have been detained and their access to their connections, lawyers and their means for informing the public were restricted throughout the detention. The detained human rights advocates were labeled as “spies” and it was alleged that they were holding a “secret meeting” in some of the media organs. Such denigrations are, in fact, the usual attempts to criminalize human rights advocates and an assault against their basic rights and freedoms including the rights to hold meetings and to organize, through the use of media power.

We call for an immediate termination of custodies, detentions, bans and shut-downs against women’s organizations and against those who struggle for human rights and gender equality and an end to the policies of oppression!

Mor Çatı community stands with their fellows and speaks up for human rights struggle!

In these days of attacks at human and women's rights, we need your support more than ever. Please do not hesitate to share and take action.


Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation

A campaign on the rights of women survivors of violence and their children to access support and protection

WAVE’s press release about Step up! Campaign: 

1 in 3 women in Europe experiences physical or sexual violence. Yet, the states to which women pay taxes fail to ensure satisfactory access to specialised support services. Only 15 out of 46 European countries provide a specialised helpline and Europe is lacking at least 47,000 women’s shelter places. Support centres for rape and sexual assault are not available. Discrimination hinders most vulnerable women from accessing support! "There is a serious under-investment in specialised support services in many countries in Europe and as a consequence women have nowhere to turn for adequate help. We call on EU authorities, national governments and other interested parties in society to STEP UP investments to stop violence against women!" (Rosa Logar, WAVE President)

From 11 countries and 40 Women’s and LGBTI organizations, 200 participants were present at Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation’s Conference entitled “Policies on Women’s Shelters and Solidarity Centers against Male Violence throughout the 2010s: Sharing Experiences from Turkey and Europe”, organized on 26th and 27th of February at Kadir Has University, Istanbul.

Politics of Women’s Shelters, Solidarity Centers and Solidarity against Male Violence throughout 2010s: Sharing Experiences from Turkey and Europe. Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation, is organizing a conference entitled “Politics of Women’s Shelters, Solidarity Centers and Solidarity against Male Violence throughout 2010s: Sharing Experiences from Turkey and Europe”, on the 26th and 27th of February at Kadir Has University Cibali Campus, Block D, Convention Hall. The purpose of the conference is to share international experience in the subject of violence against women and to strengthen the communication among the women’s organizations that are active in the field.