Fatma Nevin Vargün
Translated by Özge
The violence against women is continuing in Kurdish region. Even in harsher ways. In the previous days we watched together what a young woman in Ağrı experienced. The men in the family were persistent first to throw her from the window and then to give her quietus by stabbing in ambulance on her way to the hospital. In this article I want to talk about the thought-provoking, rather than the frightening, side of this kind of violent incidents that can be often came across in the media.
Untill a few months ago, I had never thought of being a candidate for the 2009 local elections. I was working on my reporting about the violation of human rights of LGBT individuals within Lambdaistanbul LGBT Solidarity Association (Lambdaistanbul LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği, Lambda). Then, some women friends whose work I myself closely follow from Amargi Women’s Cooperative (Amargi Kadın Kooperatifi) located in the same district with Lambdaistanbul Culture Center asked me, “Belgin, would you ever think of being a candidate for head of this district?” Although firstly rejecting, I then decided to be a candidate for Katip Mustafa Çelebi District after having thought of it calmly at home in the evening. I was sure of myself to be worthy of this position having worked on human rights for years and having experienced and witnessed all difficulties in Beyoğlu as a transsexual woman.
The Women’s Labour and Employment Initiative Platform (Kadın Emeği ve İstihdam Girişimi Platformu, KEİG) presented a report to public on 17 April 2009, “Women’s Labour and Employment in Turkey: Problem Areas and Policy Suggestions”. We think that the statements and the suggestions are very significant and leading. Also with their permission, we publish the report summarizing. You can find the full text in their KEIG’s web site
The economic crisis that started in 2008 in developed countries has since turned into a global depression by influencing developing countries too. The effects of the economic crisis show themselves as a big breakdown in production and a noticeable increase in unemployment. We are in a period in which there are not enough satisfactory clues regarding the improvement of the economy, and the duration and scope of the economic crisis.
In a crisis when the earnings are cut, when they are not enough or cannot be earned at all sleeplessness gets started. The state of not even blinking your eyes within the darkness of the night captures one. There are the problems whose solutions are unknown and there is insecurity. The knot of life takes the shape of a stuffing each day and the malaise spreads through various different areas of life that once seemed disconnected. It ceases to be a personal state of mind and spreads over everyone we are together with. This affection, which attacks to the very basis of our existence becomes timed and collectivized. Within the spaces it hovers in the air in such a way that you can even feel it. Our capacity to deal with the demands of the world, our control over the life diminishes every day.
During the recent economic crises, conservatism of Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi: AKP) on sexuality has shown its limits. Especially with the economic crises AKP feels caught up in a trap thus such politics is not really surprising. The patriarchy as the underlying politics and discourse of conservatism is taken out of its aesthetic packaging of populism and just to protect “masculinity,” it pinpointed the women seeking jobs as the essence of unemployment. Although this is not something new, it is important to talk about it. How are we then going to discuss the neo-liberal politics of AKP? Of course the feminist literature provides us with a broad literature. But then whether this literature is sufficient for us to understand its extent in the society in Turkey is up for grabs… To deepen this discussion, I aim to first talk about how AKP defines the economic crises as the crises of masculinity and then address the ways economic politics of AKP are debated.
Feminist Politics Debates
I see that the class divisions that are the steadiest opposing subject in testing the dance of politics with identities mostly tend to gravitate to an ontological explanation and have to use the methods of the identity.
While feminist activism is moving forward at its fullest rate, we get the opportunity to follow the debated about feminism through our journal Feminist Policy which is started to be released as well as Amargi. Lying feminism on a plate with its manifesting dimensions in terms of matters such as feminist ethics and activism beyond democracy debates has become effective due to its accelerating feminist dialogue process.
Complicity of Violence with Malice: A Brief Article On Prostitution And What The Prostitution Laws Do
The laws that separate the sex workers into two categories as registered and non-registered also produces space for different kinds of violence.
This article examines the legal regulations on prostitution, the practices of the state and, based on the everyday lives of the sex workers, the relationship of registered and un-registered sex workers with the state, along with the violence embedded in such relationships. These relationships formed by absolute and modern power techniques, provides us with the understanding of the state, rather than a uniter and abstract structure, as a form that changes according to the context, to the relationships it develops with different subjects and becoming an embodiment of the ordinary through the institutional actors it relates.Especially by looking at the relationships among the police, the deputies working at the brothels, and the sex workers, this article aims to examine how the objectification through violence establishes a masculine sexuality.
Took One Step Further, Brought Steps Along with Us: Walking…
“Paths of the hell is paved with the rocks of good faith.”
Although the history of our transexual organization experience is not so early, with the development of woman movement, transexual movement has also picked up speed. It was Women General Assembly (Kadın Kurultay) when a transexual has for the first time, brought up his/her problems as part of the women movement. I heard from Nazik Işık that once in a general assembly in which ”Women Movement in Turkey” is the subject matter of academy seminers taking place in Kaos GL, audience overreacted when they recognize that the conferencier is a transexual and against all the interruptions that transexual friend could end up her speech.
Where is the Place of Woman in Women-Oriented Services? An example of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
There are a few striking images when you just enter the web page of Istanbul Metropolian Municipality (İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi, İBB) Women Coordination Center . On the right corner, there is a mother woman in the background of this slogan, “We support our women in every situation.” On the left side, on the orange background, there is the number of the “families” who have applied to the institution, have phoned the call centers, and have been aided. The statistical data is quite impressive: hundreds of applications and a considerable number of families being aided. What does it tell us about the place of woman concerning the services of municipal administrations in Istanbul that the concepts of woman, family, mother, and aid are used side by side like this and that they are the subject matters of statistical data? In order to answer this question, it would of course be useful to examine the women-oriented services closely.
… “but” these are men that aim to fight against all the attributes to manhood that are filled with violence and sexism. Our chat with Dağhan Azaklı, Kürşad Kızıltuğ and Yavuz Atan, who underline that they have started a war with the manhood inside themselves and that this is a long way turned into a bilateral telling of grief as may be expected. We have made cordial chat with the members of the Biz Erkek Değiliz (We Are Not Men) İnitiative, BEDI on manhood, authority, and interaction and common points with feminist and LGBT movements.