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SOLIDARITY with our sisters in Turkey who are detained!

[Ankara, 6 July 2017, Statement via our members in Turkey] Ten women & human rights defenders including members of the Turkish Women’s Coalition, İlknur Üstün, one of the founding members of the EWL Coordination for Turkey, and Nalan Erkem were detained yesterday (5 July 2017).

UPDATE 18/07/2017: The court ruled the release of 4 right defenders with judicial control decision: Nalan, Nejat, İlknur (General coordinator of Turkish Women’s Coalition) and Şeyhmus. The court imposed ban on leaving the country and 3 times visit a week to the police station. The remaining 6 friends Günal, Özlem, İdil, Veli, Ali and Peter were remanded for trial.

It is unacceptable that two of the prominent women’s rights defenders were detained at a time when attacks against women’s rights are getting prevalent at an alarming rate. We see this detention as an outright attack against women’s movement and all women in the country. Women’s rights struggle cannot be separated from human rights struggles.

Both colleagues have worked dedicatedly on eliminating violence against women, for women’s access to justice and women’s political participation. We understand that their detention is a “response” to their years of relentless work on women’s rights.

Their detention will neither deter them nor us from our struggle for women’s rights, because there is a long way to go in realisation of women’s rights in Turkey. It’s a long road, and we will continue with our strive for women’s rights.We are in solidarity with our colleagues and and will follow the situation closely.

Statement by Women’s Coalition -Turkey //Kadın Koalisyonu

More than 140 Turkish organsiations have signed the statement "We stand by our friends" to expresses their solidarity with the human rights’ defenders in detention and which calls for the immediate realease of İlknur, Nalan, Özlem, İdil and all rights defenders.

The rights’ defenders in detention are not alone! İlknur, Nalan, Özlem, İdil and all rights defenders must be released -immediately!

On 5 July 2017, 10 rights’ defenders, including our friends, and Women’s Coalition members, İlknur Üstün and Nalan Erkem, were detained while at a civilian society training session. Our friends, who for many years contributed to the women’s rights struggle, and worked with dedication for many changes and transformations in favour of women in Turkey, were subjected to many unlawful practices while in detention. For instance, although they were detained at 9:30, the detention order was issued at 14:30. Our friends were withheld for 24 hours before they could communicate with their families and lawyers, and no information whatsoever was provided regarding their whereabouts. Our friends, rights’ defenders, were targeted with preposterous and delusive accusations by the media and some politicians with the accusation of being “members of an armed terrorist organization”. The initial 7-day period for their detention was extended another 7 days on July 11.

We Condemn the Attack on Rights’ Defenders!

We know that the accusations aimed at our friends and reports published in various media that denigrate the work of rights’ defenders with grave accusations are baseless and constitute lies; and perceive this as an attack upon our movement, and on all women living in this country. Like all the women’s and LGBTI+ organizations that have signed this declaration, rights’ defenders work devotedly for an equal and fair life.

İlknur Üstün is among the founders of the Women’s Coalition, an umbrella organization of 120 women’s organization in Turkey, and currently its General Coordinator. She is also a founder of the Turkey Coordination of the European Women’s Lobby, an organization with more than 200 members Europe-wide, and acts as its current coordinator. İlknur has taken part in the work of the feminist movement and many women’s organizations defending women’s rights in Turkey; and she has previously served as the President of KA.DER-Ankara. She has worked unflaggingly for women to take part in every field of life as equal citizens, including the fields of politics and local administrations, and for women to no longer face violence. İlknur is a rights defender who has made us feel women’s solidarity in the most powerful manner and before all else, is our friend. The charges she faces are without basis, and constitute an act of intimidation aimed at all women’s rights defenders.

Nalan Erkem has been a rights’ defender for many years. The work she has carried out for children’s rights includes the close tracking and defending the rights of “children driven to crime”. Nalan has dedicated her life to the prevention of torture, especially in the fields of the prevention and tracking of violence against women, and she has carried out many rights-based tracking projects. She has actively participated in the local political and participatory work of the Women’s Coalition.

Özlem Dalkıran is a rights’ defender who has carried out many research projects on the rights’ violations women face, and she is a dedicated member of the women’s movement. She is a founding member of the Citizens’ Assembly. Özlem was among the pioneers who founded the Amnesty International Turkey branch; served as president and press spokesperson for two terms, and has worked as a rights’ defender in many fields including refugee rights.

İdil Eser has worked at many rights-based organizations including Amnesty International Turkey, where she is currently the director, the Citizens’ Assembly, and Tarih Vakfı/History Foundation and Doctors without Borders, and has dedicated her life to the rights’ struggle. İdil is a rights’ defender, who with her knowledge and experience has contributed to the development of civilian society in Turkey.

İlknur Üstün, Nalan Erkem, Özlem Dalkıran and İdil Eser, who have worked hard both on the national and international level for the realization of rights and freedoms, must immediately be released along with other rights’ defenders whose freedom is being restricted, and their reputation must be restored.

We stand by our friends!

We, the women’s and LGBTI+ organizations who have signed below, would like to powerfully declare once again that we stand by our friends. We make a call to put an end to this unlawful and arbitrary process, which is in complete violation of the Constitution and international declarations and conventions, and for our friends to be set free. Turkey must amend this mistake in a manner that befits a state that follows the rule of law, and release our friends.


17+ Alevi Kadınlar/ 17+ Alevi Women
78’liler Federasyonu’ndan Kadınlar
Adana Kadın Dayanışma Merkezi ve Sığınma Evi Derneği (AKDAM)/ Adana Women’s Solidarity Center and Shelter
Adana Kadın Platformu/ Adana Women’s Platform
Ankara Feminist Kolektif/ Ankara Feminist Collective
Ankara Kadın Platformu/ Ankara Women’s Platform
Antakya Kadın Dayanışması
Antalya Kadın Danışma Merkezi ve Dayanışma Derneği/ Antalya Women’s Solidarity Center and Shelter
Avrupa Kadın Lobisi Türkiye Koordinasyonu/ European Women’s Lobby, Turkey
Ayvalık Bağımsız Kadın İnisiyatifi/ Ayvalık Independent Women’s Initiative
Bağımsız Kadın Derneği/ Independent Woman Association
Bağımsız Kadın İnisiyatifi/ Independent Women’s Initiative
Bakırköy Kadın Dayanışması
Barış İçin Kadın Girişimi
Bartın Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
Bodrum Kadın Dayanışma Derneği/ Bodrum Women’s Solidarity Association
Buca Evka-1 Kadın Kültür ve Dayanışma Derneği (BEKEV)/ Buca Evka-1 Women’s Culture and Solidarity
Cinsel Şiddetle Mücadele Derneği/ Association for Struggle Against Sexual Violence
Çağdaş Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği Çukurova Şubesi
Demir Leblebi Kadın Derneği/ Demir Leblebi Women’s Associaiton
Demokratik Kadın Hareketi/ Democratic Women’s Movement
Disk-Emekli-Sen Kadın Sekreterliği
Divriğili Kadınlar Derneği
Ekmek ve Gül
El Emeği Üreticileri
Emekli Kadınlar Grubu - İzmir
Engelli Kadın Derneği/ Association of Women With Disabilities
Erzincan Katre Kadın Oluşumu
Esenyalı Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
EŞİTİZ - Eşitlik İzleme Kadın Grubu/ Equality Watch Women’s Group
Eşitlik Platformu
Eşit Yaşam Derneği/ Equal Life Association
Ev Eksenli Çalışan Kadınlar Çalışma Grubu/ Home Based Working Women Study Group
Ev Kadınları Kültür ve Dayanışma Derneği (EVKAD)/ Housewives Solidarity and Development Association EVKAD
Femin Art
Feminist Çukurova
Feminizm Derneği
Fethiye Kadın Dayanışma Grubu
Filmmor Kadın Kooperatifi/ Filmmor Women’s Cooperative
Foça Barış Kadınları
Genel-İş Sendikalı Kadınlar
Gülsuyu Gülensu Kadın Dayanışma Evi Derneği
Günebakan Kadın Derneği
Halkevci Kadınlar
İlerici Kadınlar Meclisi
İmece-Der’li Kadınlar
İmece Ev İşçileri Sendikası
İnsan Hakları Derneği Kadın Komisyonu
İRİS Eşitlik Gözlem Grubu
İstanbul İnsan Hakları Derneği Kadın Hakları Komisyonu
İstanbul LGBTİ
İzmir Amargi
İzmir Çiğli Kadın Emeğini Değerlendirme Dayanışma ve Kültür Evi Derneği (ÇEKEV)/ Çiğli Evka 2 Women’s Culture House Association / Çekev
İzmir Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
Jineoloji Dergisi
KADER Genel Merkezi/Association for Support of Women Candidates
KADER Adana/ Association for Support of Women Candidates Adana
KADER Ankara/ Association for Support of Women Candidates Ankara
KADER İzmir/ Association for Support of Women Candidates İzmir
Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu/ We Will Stop Femicides Platform
Kadın Çalışmaları Derneği
Kadın Dayanışma Vakfı/ The Foundation for Women’s Solidarity
Kadınlarla Dayanışma Vakfı (KADAV)/ Women’s Solidarity Foundation
Kadın Eğitim ve İstihdam Derneği
Kadın Emeği Çalışan Feminist Araştırmacılar Grubu (KEFA)/ Feminist Researchers Studying Women’s Labor KEFA
Kadın Emeği Kolektifi
Kadın Emeği ve İstihdamı Girişimi (KEİG)
Kadın Erkek Eşitliği Derneği (KAZETE-DER)/
Kadına Şiddete Karşı Müslümanlar İnisiyatifi
Kadın Koalisyonu/ Women’s Coalition
Kadın Özgürlük Meclisi (KÖM)
Kadın Partisi/ Women’s Party
Kadın Yazarlar Derneği
Kadının İnsan Hakları - Yeni Çözümler Derneği/ Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) - New Ways
Kampüs Cadıları/ Campus Witches
Kaos GL Derneği/ KAOS GL Association
Kapadokya Kadın Dayanışma Derneği/ Kapadokya Women’s Solidarity Association
Karadeniz Kadın Dayanışma Derneği/ Karadeniz Women’s Solidarity Association
Karya Kadın Derneği/ Karadeniz Women’s Solidarity Association
KAZETE - Bağımsız Kadın Gazetesi/ KAZETE Independent Women’s Newspaper
KESK Kadın Meclisi/ Confederation of Public Workers Union (KESK) Women’s Assembly
Keskesor LGBTİ Diyarbakır Oluşumu
Kırmızı Biber Derneği/ Red Pepper Association
Kırmızı Şemsiye Cinsel Sağlık ve İnsan Hakları Derneği/ Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association
Kocaeli Kadın Platformu/ Kocaeli Women’s Platform
Koza Kadın Derneği/ Koza Women’s Association
Körfez Bağımsız Kadın Dayanışması
Lambdaistanbul LGBTİ
Lezbiyen Biseksüel Feministler /Lesbian Bisexual Feminists
LGBTİ+ Barış Girişimi
Maraş Kadın Girişimciler Derneği
Mavi Göl Kadın Derneği
Mersin Kadın Platformu
Mersin LGBT 7 Renk Derneği
Menteşe Kent Konseyi Kadın Meclisi
Mezopotamya Kadın Gazeteciler Platformu
Mezopotamya Kadın Kooperatifi
Mor Çatı Kadın Sığınağı Vakfı/ Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation
Mor Dayanışma/ Purple Association for Women’s Solidarity
Mor Kampüs
Mor Salkım Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
Muğla Emek Benim Kadın Derneği
Muğla Kadın Dayanışma Grubu
Muğla Sekibaşı Kadın Dayanışma
Nor Zartonk Kadın Meclisi
Özgürlükçü Hukukçular Platformu (ÖHP) Kadın Komisyonu
Özgür Genç Kadın
Pembe Hayat LGBTT Dayanışma Derneği
Pendik Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
Sakarya LGBTİ İnisiyatifi
Samandağ Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
SES Genel Merkezi Kadın Meclisi
Seyhan Kadın-Çocuk Dayanışma Eğitim ve Kültür Derneği
Sınır Tanımayan Kadınlar
Sosyal Dayanışma Ağı (SODA)
Sosyal Politikalar Cinsiyet Kimliği ve Cinsel Yönelim Çalışmaları Derneği (SPoD)/ Social Policy, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Works Association
Şiddetsizlik Merkezi’nden Kadınlar
TMMOB İstanbul İKK Kadın Komisyonu
TMMOB İzmir Kadın Çalışma Grubu
Toplumsal Dayanışma İçin Psikologlar Derneği (TODAP) Kadın Komisyonu
TTB Kadın Hekimlik ve Kadın Sağlığı Kolu/ Turkish Medical Association Women Medicine and Woman and Health Branch
Tüm Kadın Lobisi Derneği (TÜKAL)
Türk Kadınlar Birliği/ Turkish Women’s Union
Türkiye Kadın Dernekleri Federasyonu/ Federation of Women’s Associations of Turkey
Uçan Süpürge/ Flying Broom
Üniversiteli Kadın Kolektifi
WINPEACE - Kadın Barış Girişimi
Yaşam Evi Kadın Dayanışma Derneği
Yeni Demokrat Kadın
Yeniyol’dan Kadınlar
Yeryüzü Kadınları
Yeşil Feministler
Yeşilpınar Kadınları Sosyal Yardımlaşma ve Dayanışma Derneği
Yoğurtçu Kadın Forumu

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