This city rises up the hillsides on both sides of the Bosporus, the wide channel from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, the divide between Europe and
Until two years ago, a small number of women’s organizations remained quite isolated. Beyond their work, violence against women simply wasn’t talked about or, when it was, the language was often one of approval: it was seen as natural and acceptable for a man to hit his wife. Each year men killed women – a wife, a sister, a daughter – supposedly to preserve the ‘honor’ of his family.
The work of these women finally paid off when Hurriyet, the countries major newspaper and also owner of CNN Turkey, joined with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), to launch a national campaign against this violence. Articles started appearing in newspapers and stories on TV. With the aid of the UNFPA, the army launched an incredible training program for all recruits. Each new soldier would spend a full day of basic training focusing on issues around reproductive health, family planning, safe sex, respect for women, and ending violence against women. Because every Turkish man does compulsory service, in time, every man in
I was in
For me, one of the pleasures of the work was to see the progress that has been made in the past year since I last visited
Off, now, to