Women: Turkey is no different from Iran
- 12:35 2 October 2022
İZMİR - The women, who drew attention to the inadequacy of solidarity with women against the targeting of women in Iran after the murder of Jîna Mahsa Amini, emphasized that Turkey is no different from Iran in terms of women's rights. While women pointed out the necessity of struggling against the problems they experienced, they also asked not to remain silent in the face of problems.
Protests continue for Jîna Mahsa Aminî, who was murdered by the Iranian regime, especially in the cities of Rojhilat and Iran, as well as in Kurdistan, Turkey and around the world. According to the statements made by the human rights organizations in the country, many people lost their lives and more than 70 women were detained. The identities of 52 of those detained were determined.
Emphasizing that the policies targeting women, especially the murder of Jîna, should not be kept silent, the women spoke to our agency.
'Most women are not free in Turkey'
University student Özge Özgür started her speech by condemning the murder of women in Iran. Focusing on ensuring gender equality, Özge said, “People should not be killed because of clothing, clothing should not disturb someone. No one should be aroused just because someone is dressed short or because their hair is dyed, this should not bother anyone. Women shouldn't be killed or sexually harassed just because she's bothered.”
'The punishments given to the murderers of women are not enough'
Stating that women are not free enough in Turkey, Özge said, “I don't think most women are free, because even on the streets, most women cannot walk comfortably and are exposed to stares. I get a lot of looks when I walk in my own way, and it bothers me a lot.” Pointing out the inadequacy of the punishments given to the perpetrators in the massacres of women, Özge said, “I think there should be more severe punishments. They just fine and release them, they roam the streets. They can also kill other people. I think the reason for this is misogyny.”
'Bigger action needed'
Student Ela Celik noted that the attitude of the police in Iran towards women and society in general is related to the regime. “I think the actions should be on a larger scale. This is not just limited to Iran, there are too many countries like this. Turkey is one of them. Although it does not have such clear boundaries, I think it has gradually evolved into it,” Ela said.
'Women are restricted in social and political life'
Stating that women cannot fully express themselves in social and political life, Ela added, “I do not think that women here express themselves as they wish in social life. It is the same in political life. I do not think that the attitude of the police is very different in Turkey. I think that if such an action were to occur in Turkey today, there would be the same reaction, there are examples. Women of the world should try harder to make their voices heard, we should try and not give in.”
'European states have a share in what happened in Iran'
Cansu Turan Öztürk, who lives in Germany, emphasized that European countries had a share in what happened in Iran. Cansu said, “The Iranian people were a much freer people before. States do not count women; more policies are made for men. If a woman is free, the man next to her is also free. European countries have a share in Iran's turn into this. He doesn't care about the plight of women in Iran. States don't care, but women do. States need to find a solution to this situation; it should not continue like this. States do not take a stand with the people. We do not want these situations to happen again. Everyone should live freely. Be it male or female. Everyone has the right to live freely, whether their heads are uncovered or covered.”
'Those who restrict women's lives are protected'
Touching on the role of governments wherever women's freedom and women's living spaces are restricted, Red Ocean activist Ocean Atlas said: “We are doing our best not to remain silent to oppose them. We are totally wronged. Women in this country are not given any living space they deserve. People are no longer given the right to live in Turkey. Our freedom is restricted, we are exposed to harassment and rape even in the workplaces and places we live in. There are protests to prevent this. The state protects molesters, rapists. It protects the people who limit our lives. In no way does it give women, people, LGBTI+s the right to live.”
Ocean added that women should struggle against the problems they experience and should not remain silent.
'The big problem of Middle Eastern women'
Expressing that the problems regarding the targeting of women with the murder of Jîna are not limited to Iran, but that it is everyone's problem, teacher Diler Kisi emphasized that women's solidarity is also lacking at one point. Diler said, “Today, there is the reality of Afghanistan, there is the problem of Turkey. This is a huge problem for Middle Eastern women. It's a big wound and we all need to come together to close this wound. Unfortunately, there is no women's solidarity in our country or in the whole world, there is a deficiency. I also see the distortions in women's solidarity, in which I am a part. It's as if we can't be a voice by internalizing those pains, we just look from afar. The biggest impact of this is social media. We rely heavily on social media. By sharing two or three stories and posts from there, we ease our conscience as if it were an ointment to those pains, but we are not in the areas. There is no old sense of organization.”
'Iranian people never accepted the regime'
Stating that women are always on the streets, "When I was in Iran, women have always suffered from this and they always react to every government, just like in our country. It's not a regime they've ever accepted. They want change now. We are in a global world. Social media not only has disadvantages, but also creates a resilience for people to share their suffering, "she said.
'What happened should be internalized'
Emphasizing that women should share their pain, Diler added, "I wish all women could internalize their pain and make it common. We will pass in front of the events and publish a few protests, support and applaud, but as long as we do not internalize the pain, it will not happen.”