Insanlar mücadeleleriyle varolurlar“. Zeynep Gambetti, a scholar of Kurdish politics, found this comment inscribed in the visitors’ book at the Diyarbakir Art Centre’s exhibit of photographer Ami Vitale’s Kashmir photos. The phrase roughly translates as; “people come into existence through their struggles“. The struggle to “ensure the equal rights of men and women to enjoy all economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights” has indeed defined the existence of many ethnically Kurdish women in Diyarbakir and, more generally, in the south-eastern region of Turkey. The obstacles in this struggle for equality are manifold. While the efforts of Kurdish women in Turkey to overcome these obstacles have been remarkable, there is still considerable progress to be made.

تحدثت الأسبوع الماضي عن حصاد المرأة السعودية خلال عام بمناسبة اليوم العالمي للمرأة وبالطبع لم تكف المساحة للحديث عن الجزء الأول من الموضوع وهو ما أنجز على أن يكون الجزء الثاني لموضوع الباقي ولم يُنجز. لكني وجدت قبل الاستطراد أو المضي في حديثي الذي سوف يكون طويلاً، أن أتعرض لتاريخ هذا اليوم الذي يصادف هذا العام الاحتفاء بمئويته، أي أنه استحدث منذ عام 1910، فما الذي كان يجري في العالم آنذاك ودعا لطرح هذا اليوم كيوم خاص بالمرأة يكون مؤشراً ويوماً يُستخدم لمطالبة النساء بحقوقهن المهضومة عبر العصور والبلدان؟

The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers is deeply concerned at reports (The Guardian, 1st Feb 2010) that a 15-year-old girl, a Turkish Kurd, named Berivan, has been jailed in Turkey for nearly eight years after being convicted of "terrorist" offences. She was arrested at a demonstration in the south-eastern city of Batman in October 2009. The 13-and-a-half-year sentence originally imposed on her was later reduced on appeal to seven years and nine months because of her age. She was found guilty of "crimes on behalf of an illegal organisation" after prosecutors alleged she had hurled stones and shouted slogans. She was also convicted of attending "meetings and demonstrations in opposition to the law" and "spreading propaganda for an illegal organisation". There are substantial concerns as to the fairness of her trial and conviction.

Turkish police have recovered the body of a 16-year-old girl they say was buried alive by relatives in an "honour" killing carried out as punishment for talking to boys. The girl, who has been identified only by the initials MM, was found in a sitting position with her hands tied, in a two-metre hole dug under a chicken pen outside her home in Kahta, in the south-eastern province of Adiyaman.

PEACE IN KURDISTAN CAMPAIGN: Open Letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown: We, the undersigned, call on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to use all available diplomatic means to bring an immediate end to the repression of Kurdish politicians in Turkey and to promote a political and negotiated solution to the Kurdish conflict. The mass arrest of some 80 leading members of the new Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) that took place in Turkey on Christmas Eve is a deeply disturbing development that can only have grave consequences for the country’s future peace and stability. The action followed the banning of the popular pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) on 11 December by Turkey’s Constitutional Court.

Black Pink Triangle Association in Izmir is the fifth LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) organisation that faces closure by the Turkish government. The first hearing will take place on February 19, 2010. The threat of closure comes in the wake of accusations that the organisation is “against the law and morality.”

"One of the men interviewed in prison told Onal, "It's easy for women's charities and the EU to say 'stop killing' from afar, but people will not stop. If you live in our neighborhoods, you would kill. We have to change our neighborhoods..."
Police have failed to investigate the abuse or punish the perpetrators and an issue of a newspaper that reported the crime has been confiscated.
The state's duty to protect the right to life has been applied in a domestic violence context for the first time in Turkey.
Journalist Ayse Onal's coverage of the Turkish men who murdered their sisters and mothers in "honor" killings finds they often feel betrayed by their families. Many killers also want to guide other men away from such crimes.
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