What does the phrase hello sisters mean

Cigdem Toprak: Hello, sisters!

They had actually planned the picnic for Sunday, July 17th. On July 15, there was an overnight coup attempt that shook the whole country. Horror. Of course the picnic has been postponed. On the following Sunday, July 24th, the social democratic CHP, supported by some left-wing groups and trade unions, organized a demonstration on Taksim Square in Istanbul with the slogan: “No to the coup and the dictatorship!” The women on the platform were again not at the picnic, but among the several hundred thousand people in the square.

For Erdoğan, childless women are only "half-women"

On Sunday, July 31st, the picnic organized by the women of the platform “We will stop the feminicide” took place. So we met - around a hundred women - in the early afternoon in the "Park of World Peace" in Beşiktaş. Everyone had brought something: olives, cheese, tomatoes, sesame rings and bread.

I had last seen the women at a rally in early June. We demonstrated because President Erdoğan had described childless women as “half-women”. In his speech to the “Verein für Frauen und Demokratie” (Association for Women and Democracy), he said: “The women who do without children for their job deny their femininity. They are half-women. ”Then he repeated his request to all women to give birth to at least three, better still five, children.

On the same evening, the women from the platform announced a rally on Galatasaray via social media. The next afternoon we were over a hundred women, mostly young, childless, but also mothers of three with or without headscarves. We were all fed up with Erdoğan telling us what to do.

At this picnic at the end of July it was obvious that the women's organization is reaching more women today. Gülsüm Kav from the platform says: “We have more members than a year ago, also a lot more support from women. And not only in Istanbul, but also in small towns in Anatolia. It doesn't matter what political view a woman has, she supports our fight against feminicide. That concerns every woman. "

In the first half of 2016, 153 women were killed by their husbands, friends or fathers and brothers in Turkey. Gülsüm: “The state has not been collecting statistics on feminicide since 2010 because the numbers have sparked great outrage. The numbers quoted are our own: We read the newspaper and try to reach relatives and families of the murdered women. Or you can find us if you need support. Not only do we give moral support to the family, we also have female lawyers who represent these families on a voluntary basis. "

At their congress on March 8, 2016, the women decided not only to deal with feminicide, but also sexual violence against women and children and bullying against women in the world of work. Fidan explains how it came about: “My cell phone number is on our website. I received three to four calls every week from victims of sexual violence or from women who were outraged by reports of sexual violence against women and children in the media. One scandal after another came to light.

Boys were raped by teachers in Koran schools like Ensar E.V. or girls were harassed by hordes of men in small towns in Anatolia such as Siirt or women in buses. Victims of bullying who needed help also called us. Since February we have agencies in 20 Anatolian cities. It is the local women there who bravely fight. "

The fight against sexual violence has now also reached Anatolia

The platform's lawyers represent families of the victims on a voluntary basis. Some lawyers were also present at the picnic. Like Nimet Karabulut. Fadik explains how they met: “I went to court for a woman murder in Kartal. When I saw that Nimet was looking at us with interest, I went to her and asked her if she wanted to volunteer for us. She immediately said: Yes, of course. As if she had been waiting for it. "

But what can the Turkish women expect after the attempted coup? The state of emergency that has prevailed in Turkey since then can hardly be felt in the center of Istanbul. But Gülsüm is concerned: “When violence breaks out in a society, women are always the ones who are most affected by it. We know that from countries where there is war. But it is also the same in Kurdish cities in Eastern Turkey. The government says it should make it easier to get a gun license. In recent years women have been killed with exactly these weapons. "

We stayed in the park all afternoon. We ate, drank tea and talked. After such difficult days, it was healing to be together. Fidan has promised us to repeat the picnic soon.

Esmahan Aykol


Continue reading