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Yasemin Çakal who is my guest on a sec­ond reportage, part of a series titled Por­traits of women in exile I am prepar­ing for Kedis­tan, calls on women to sol­i­dar­i­ty around her own experience.

In Turkey, accord­ing to the 2019 report pre­pared by the “Kadın Cinayet­leri­ni Dur­du­ra­cağız” plat­form (which we could trans­late as “We Will End Fem­i­ni­cides”) 474 fem­i­ni­cides were record­ed. In 2018, that fig­ure was of 440 and it turned out that all the per­pe­tra­tors were close to their vic­tims. And of course, all the vic­tims were women who had asked for pro­tec­tion from State institutions.

Yasemin her­self found her­self sit­ting in the  box of the accused  by killing her com­pan­ion so as to pro­tect her­self from his vio­lence and not become yet anoth­er num­ber in the sta­tis­tics of women assas­si­nat­ed by men.

Fol­low­ing this, Yasemin faced jus­tice with the sol­i­dar­i­ty of oth­er women which allowed her to ben­e­fit from reduced sen­tences. At the time of her lib­er­a­tion, Yasemin salut­ed women with a slo­gan, in her mater­nal lan­guage and for this, she was sen­tenced to fif­teen years in prison.

Today, Yasemin awaits with her child the accep­tance of her asy­lum request in a refugee camp in Switzerland.

An impor­tant point: the Swiss migra­tion bureau con­sid­ers Yasem­in’s asy­lum request not to be polit­i­cal­ly-moti­vat­ed, but based on human­i­tar­i­an grounds. I wish to clar­i­fy that in Switzer­land, human­i­tar­i­an requests receiv­ing a pos­i­tive response give access to a “tem­po­rary res­i­dence per­mit”, known as type “F”,  with extreme restric­tions not autho­riz­ing the per­son to leave the can­ton where she was admit­ted, for exam­ple, and even less to trav­el out­side the coun­try… To be renewed every year. Thus a very restric­tive sta­tus, com­pared to that of a polit­i­cal refugee.

Yet, the women had chant­ed that Yasem­in’s cause is a cause for all women. That it rep­re­sents a path of oppo­si­tion against vio­lence on women in Turkey. “Vio­lence done to women is political.”

Hav­ing under­lined this point, I invite you to lis­ten to Yasemin!

(Please activate the subtitles and choise English)

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges – iknowiknowiknowblog.wordpress.com
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Dilek Aykan
Gazete­ci, siyasetçi, insan hak­ları savunucusu. Jour­nal­iste, femme poli­tique, défenseure des droits humain. Jour­nal­ist, polit­i­cal woman, defendor of human rights.