Solidarity Call from the Women’s Initiative against Rape Cases in Turkey

Five years ago, one of our sisters was raped and tortured by a group of men in the Fethiye district of Muğla. This group of men who are influential people in Fethiye district, were not prosecuted but were instead protected. After domestic law remedies were blocked, the case was brought to the European Court of Human Rights and the Ministry of Justice and this application was finally accepted. After three and a half years, in January 2011, a prosecution process commenced against eight people.

During the trials, we, as women, formed an organization called “Women’s Initiative Against Rape Cases”. For each trial, women from around the country gathered together in Fethiye to show solidarity with our sister. About 30 women lawyers are following the case voluntarily. Before each trial and on the day of the trials, we organize protests in Fethiye and in the cities where we live. A lot of feminist organizations, women’s organizations, law societies, women’s legal commissions, socialist parties and women activists filed intervening petitions to the case. Women’s solidarity also crossed borders and women from France, Italy, Spain and Germany supported our protests with their solidarity messages.

Despite all the evidence, our request for the rapists to be arrested was not granted by the court.

The 8th trial in this case, which has become a symbol of the fight against rape, will be held on April 27, 2012 in Fethiye district of Muğla. As women of Turkey, we hope to take our fight against rape to the next level with your support for our voices.

Women’s Initiative Against Rape Cases will have a table at the Campaigns Corner at the Forum. Please contact Yildiz Temurturkan if you would like more information or are interested in joining the trial monitoring mission on 27 April. Yildiz will also be speaking at the breakout session: Militarisation, conflict and violence against women: instruments of control and economic accumulation within the capitalist, patriarchal system.