EVENTS / istanbulogy / June 3, 2012

Against Abortion Ban




BAN is the buzzword in the country for a long time. Ban youtube. Ban google. Ban grooveshark. Ban alcohol. Ban headscarves. Ban freedom of speech. Ban kurdish. Ban going on a strike. Ban artificial insemination abroad. Ban official celebration of the Republic’s public holidays. Ban atheist websites including Dawkins’. The list goes on and on.

And the next ban could be on abortion. I sometimes wonder how dare men all around the world can so easily make decisions or statements, pass laws and enact punishment about issues that concern only or mostly women?



In istanbul, thousands of women marched on July 3rd to protest the attempt to ban abortion. What bothered me most was not the attempt itself, but the discourse on abortion; uglier and uglier every day. I sometimes think maybe it is our fault. Maybe it was because Turkish women have taken their rights for granted all along? It was 1930, when women were granted the constitutional right to suffrage by Atatürk even before the French women did. Without any struggle. Meanwhile, fellow advocates of women’s suffrage fought for it for decades.

This is the 3rd rally I have attended this year. So I would call it times of change:) For the better or for the worst, we do not yet know. Sometimes crises are necessary to give way to a new order. Let’s hope so. When the Arab Spring is next door, are we gonna turn a blind eye to it and walk the opposite way?


1st photo translation: We will not abide by the patriarchal order.

2nd photo translation: The right to abortion belongs to us. Our body belong to us. A woman is not a sex object, a slave to capitalism, an incubator or the honor of anyone, which is a reference to victims of honor killings.


Tags:  abortion Arab Spring ban political activism rally women women's rights

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