Ka-Mer

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Ka-Mer is a Turkish women's group that finds shelter for and offers legal aid to women who have been threatened by their relatives.

We have to bring these killings out from the shadows and teach women about their rights. The laws have been changed, but the culture here will not change overnight. — Ayten Tekay, a caseworker for Ka-Mer in Diyarbakır.[1][2]

The KA-MER organization was founded in 1997, by a Turkish elementary school teacher "who had become committed to the issue of Kurdish women's oppression through her and her husband's experiences with violence in the 1980s and 1990s”[3] and is located in the city of Diyarbakir, Turkey. Funding for KA-MER came from many feminist circles who had become tired of the PKK and the supposed faux feminism that it promoted. KA-MER took a different approach to feminism in Turkey by turning away notional feminist issues and instead focusing on changing the Kurdish culture’s social, cultural, and political view of women. In the 1990s KA-MER grew alliances with Turkish and Kurdish feminist circles, which helped them, bring a greater awareness of the suicides and "killings committed under the guise of 'honor'"[4] (honor killings) of young migrant Kurdish women. There was, however, severe tension between KA-MER and the more politically aware feminist circles. These feminists believe KA-MER to be ignorant to the reality of the Kurdish struggle and more of a “pragmatist, elite organization.” Today KA-MER is the one of the most prominent women organizations in Turkey, recognized by international human rights groups, and is continuing the fight against honor killings and other forms of violence against women. [5] With women centers available in all 23 provinces of Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia which offer services such as counseling, daycare, and employment opportunities to help increase women's ability to become more financially independent. These women's centers also work with the entire family, including the husbands, in order to motivate the acceptance of a women’s independence and the view that women can make a valuable contribution to society. KA-MERS mission “is to identify those cultural and traditional practices, which are shaped by sexist values and are harmful to women and children, to develop their alternatives, and to ensure their implementation.” [6]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (12 July 2006). "'Virgin suicides' save Turks' 'honor' – Europe – International Herald Tribune". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Bilefsky, Dan (16 July 2006). "How to Avoid Honor Killing in Turkey? Honor Suicide". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Gokalp, Deniz (November–December 2010). "A gendered analysis of violence, justice and citizenship: Kurdish women facing war and displacement in Turkey". Elsevier. 33 (6): 561–569. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2010.09.005. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  4. ^ Akkoç, Nebahat (2005). Who's to blame? Project for the development of permanent methods in the struggle against killings committed under the guise of 'honor' in the Southeast and East Anatolia regions. Diyarbakir, Turkey: Ka-Mer. p. 12. 
  5. ^ Mojab, Shahrzad; Gorman, Rachel (Winter 2007). "Dispersed nationalism: war, diaspora and Kurdish women's organizing". Journal of Middle East Women's Studies. Duke University Press. 3 (1): 58–85. doi:10.2979/mew.2007.3.1.58. JSTOR 10.2979/mew.2007.3.1.58. 
  6. ^ "KA-MER Foundation". Turkish Philanthropy Funds. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 

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