2.4 Claims by women’s NGOs
After having looked at claims to European citizenship by Kurdish nationals in Turkey via the ECtHRs, let us now look at claims to European citizenship via other means. We will be discussing here the case of four women’s NGOs in Turkey and their claims of citizenship. These are the following. The Association for Supporting and Training Women Candidates, KADER. KADER is the only association in Turkey which works to encourage women to participate in the decision making bodies, such as parliament, local administration or syndicates. The second group is Women Entrepreneurs Association, KAGİDER. It was founded in 2002, as a sister association of Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association with the mission of developing women’s entrepreneurship and status in economic and social life. Third associations is a feminist association called Women’s Center, KAMER. It was founded as a support centre for women experiencing violence in Diyarbakır, a city in south-eastern Anatolia, in 1997. Over the years it expanded its activities to 23 provinces of Eastern and South-eastern Anatolia, both to districts and villages. Finally, the Capital City Women’s Platform. It is an independent Islamist woman’s organisation in Turkey founded in 1995. The Platform focuses on gender issues. The members’ work is concerned with issues such gender-based discrimination, gender equality, social and economic problems of women are all within the scope of the Platform.
The following excerpt is from Kanci, T., Bayraktar, D., Rumelili, B., and F. Keyman (2010) ‘Women in Turkey and their Acts of European Citizenship’ pp 26-33, which can be found.
While reading, please note the modes in which Turkish women act out European citizenship and the type of demands they advance.
Reflect on the following points and make notes.
- Turkish women do not formally hold the EU citizenship status. Nonetheless, they act out European citizenship by claiming the rights to women’s political participation, equality, freedom from violence and discrimination among others granted by the EU.
- These claims have a double effect. First, they use the EU framework as a leverage to broaden the scope of women’s rights in Turkey. Second, the claims do not take the EU framework for granted but engage in enlarging EU gender based frameworks as well.
- In doing so they challenge politically EU citizenship’s scope and content and, at the same time, participate in the making of European citizenship as citizens.