Turkey

Customary and religious laws and practices are often used as tools to control women's sexuality and to maintain the imbalance of power in sexual relations. This paper describes customary and religious laws and beliefs, and their impact on the situation of both rural and urban women in Eastern Turkey, based on a study among 599 women from the region, most of whom are or have been married.
General Outlook

Turkey has a secular system of government and operates nominally as a democracy. It is currently seeking membership in the European Community (EC) and has already become part of EC customs unity agreements. Many new laws have recently been introduced in Turkey, including a new national health service and laws that will increase penalties for rape and domestic violence.

Despite these promising changes, many marginalized groups including ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities, continue to be denied their rights.
Introduction:

In many ways, it is possible to say that feminism has erupted onto the Turkish political scene in the latter half of the 1980’s. Since 1983, a number of publications and public meetings organised by feminists have already made an impact on political and intellectual circles in Istanbul and Ankara (cf. Tekeli 1986 and forthcoming). The general public heard of these women on two separate occasions.
The Turkish Government has rescinded a controversial law that allowed school girls suspected of having pre-marital sex to be given virginity tests.
The reform of the civil code, for which the women's movement in Turkey has been lobbying for many years, has been finally accepted by the Turkish Parliament.
Cancel the code of conduct which permits virginity examinations.
The Turkish Government has rescinded a controversial law that allowed school girls suspected of having pre-marital sex to be given virginity tests.

An interview with two well known Turkish feminists Ayse Düzkan and Meltem Akisha who recount the trajectory of the Feminist movement in Turkey throughout the 1980's.

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