What does life as a woman or girl look like in your country/city/town/village? Any issues/challenges/milestones?
A normal weekend that you decide to spend time with your friends in Turkey, starts by deciding what to wear. A deep thinking and trying process ending in a dress combination in which you think you are not gonna get raped. The street is a jungle. Men looking at you like you are their property and are not a bit ashamed of it. In the bus, someone always can grab your a** without your consent and you think if you yell out, someone is going to take your side? If you raise your voice, you will easily regret it in that very moment. If you don’t, you just bear to live with yourself. Better to watch your back on your own. When you meet with your friends and laugh at the street, people think about you like “What a sl***!”. It’s not a surprise 'cause our people can’t stop talking about what a woman wears, what should a woman say, how should she act, how much louder that she can laugh, should she walk by her own while or whilst she’s pregnant etc... Turkey is full of bigot people who always talk about things that's none of their business - our skirts, relationships, the time we arrive at our homes.
What would you like the world to know about YOU? What life experience, challenge or achievement do you want to share?
I grew up in an open-minded family and I am lucky. But out there, there is hell. Women are getting raped and our people can say it was because of her clothes. Men are always tough in Turkey - as they taught them so - and they show their power on women. Sometimes in words, sometimes more. There was no violence in my home. But I know so many girls beaten by their own father, brother, husband. I hate that those same women - not the ones who are a little bit aware of their value - teach their sons to be tough, show their power, not to cry like a girl. I think our problems will never be solved unless boys can cry and girls can show their power.
What are you most passionate about and what are you doing with that passion?
I love dancing so much. This is the best relief for me, I can let go and I can accept with dance. I try to do it as much as I can.
How have the women and girls around you helped you to get to where you are today?
A woman I deeply know is a rape victim. She is strong like a superhero and I am just getting through stuff thinking like what would she do. My friends are always around me and we share everything with each other. No judgment tables. This helps me feel not alone.
Complete this sentence: "To be a girl or woman today, is to be..."