Mor Çatı, in its 25th anniversary, keeps up solidarity with women and children who were subjected to domestic violence, in its solidarity center and shelter. Women who are struggling for building nonviolent lives reinforce themselves through social, psychological and legal supports they receive from Mor Çatı.

Arkaoda will be hosting a special solidarity and fun raising bazaar event that brings together some important NGO’s and co-ops.

The reactions from all parts of the society to the rape and subsequent murder of Özgecan are undoubtedly significant since they offer an opportunity towards the elimination of femicide and prevent men from practicing violence against women. However, most of the discussions do not give any hope of improvement in this respect, because political actors or groups, the government in particular, are reluctant to recognize their responsibility in Özgecan’s murder. Özgecan’s murder is discussed as an isolated case, a murder conducted by a thug only. Consequently, men who run from one demonstration to the next and make one statement after another seek to position themselves outside this cycle. Özgecan’s murder, however, is not a coincidence.

You cannot assess Özgecan’s rape and murder as independent from male violence and politicians who continuously speak about women and intervene in women’s laughter and décolleté and distinguish between ‘chaste’ and ‘unchaste’ women. You cannot analyze rape by isolating it from its male perpetrator and patriarchy.

Causes and consequences of violence against women and women killings (femicide) in Turkey have been voiced repeatedly by women’s organizations for many years. The Emergency Measures Coalition Against Femicide and Violence comprised of 124 women’s organization, has been demanding that the Turkish Parliament take urgent action against male violence resulting from patriarchy, inequalities in practice and everyday life, and all kinds of discrimination against women since July 2014. After years of struggle and calls to action (by the women’s movement) Parliament finally set up a commission called “Parliamentary Research Commission to Explore the Causes of Violence Against Women in order to Determine the Necessary Measures for Prevention.”

However, to our great dismay, the commission’s first steps have led to great disillusionment. The vast majority of independent women’s groups, who have been working relentless in the field of violence for years, were not invited and excluded from the meeting of NGOs planned to take place on 5th February 2015 in Ankara. Thus, the commission has made it clear from the start that it is only willing to work with NGOs who share the government’s political views, rather than working with organizations who have expertise in this field.

The Turkish government cannot prevent violence against women with government-organized “non-governmental” organizations

The process of the monitoring and implementation of the Council of Europe's Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, known as the Istanbul Convention is off to a bad start. At a meeting on Monday, December 22, 2014, Turkey's Ministry of Family and Social Policy decided on the three NGOs whose representatives will participate in the nine-person committee that will be responsible for designating Turkey's nominees for the independent body of experts that will monitor the implementation of the Istanbul Convention (GREVIO). 

Known for their close ties to the Justice and Development Party (JDP) government, these three NGOs (KADEM, AKDER and KASAD-D) were “selected” after an overwhelming majority of the women's and LGBTI organizations in attendance walked out of the meeting in protest of the Ministry, which ignored their objections and suggestions regarding procedure leading up to, and then also at the beginning of the meeting.

Women And Men Have Equal Rights!*

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again publicly expressed his belief that women and men cannot be equal, which he had first expressed in July 2010 while prime minister. With this statement, the Turkish president has violated all international conventions, agreements and declarations about gender equality, including CEDAW and the Istanbul Convention, to which Turkey is signatory. Article 10 of the Turkish Constitution states that “Men and women have equal rights. It is the responsibility of the Turkish State to realize this equality.” Thus, president Erdogan's statement is also a clear breach of the Turkish Constitution.