Turkish women telling their stories on patriarchy

Özgecan Aslan (22 October 1995 – 11 February 2015) was a Turkish university student who was murdered as she resisted a rape attempt on 11 February 2015 on a minibus in Mersin. Her burnt body was discovered on 13 February, causing nationwide outrage and sparking protests across the country on the following days.

After Özgecan’s death, women spoke out against violence, harrassment, and other forms of male domination under the hashtag #sendeanlat. We translated some of these stories to English under #tellyourstory hashtag.


+ .elephant woman. (civilvvars)
I carry pepper spray in my pocket or in the most accessible compartment of my bag since 2007. It was my father’s gift to me for getting into the university.

+ ezgi bozkurt (ezgibozkurt)
It’s when it’s night and the street is dark and deserted, and you are walking home, and you either turn off the music or take off one of the headphones on your ear, to notice in case someone walks behind you.

+ ezgi hanımlar (ezgihanimlar)
During Gezi protests, on my way to the park, 3 cops stopping me saying “come here baby, resist on our laps”, and me keeping silent to avoid making a scene.

+ elif key (elif key)
It’s when you are a small kid, and your father teaches you which part to kick to in a man’s body if he approaches you too much.

+ Tisikkirler Kilibink (kelebenk)
Have you ever had your panty liner pack covered with a newspaper in the shop? Were you ever made to hide your fertility?

+ Ezgi Ceren (dulcistar)
2012 – job interview. I say my salary expectation. Well known president of the agency says “You think you are worth that much, eh?”

+Killer Queen (hotarubisama)
My first kiss was with the postman. He caught me in a corner in the entrance of our apartment, and ran away when he heard my father’s voice. I was 11.

+Müge (Mugeefb)
There isn’t any woman here who isn’t familiar with the fear Özgecan had felt while the minibus was driven to an isolated place. We were only luckier.


+Mavibeste (mavibeste)
I would write a male name on the door bell so that no one would understand I was living alone in the house as a female student

+ İronik Kadın (@mydrugrock)
I never forget: on the way home, my mother taking her phone out and pretending to talk to my father, just because she saw two men coming towards us on the street.

+ Hanife (@sukker_jente)
‘The bus is full, I’ll wait for the next one.’
‘The bus is empty, I’ll wait for the next one.’
That’s more or less it.

Beren Saat Sen de Anlat

Actress Beren Saat’s testimony


+ 25 students in Sarıyer Mustafa Kemal Anatolian Highschool (İstanbul) dressed in black for mourning. The principal didn’t let them in and said “If you are so sorry, stay at home and pray.”

+ In Turkey, only in 2014,
281 women were murdered,
109 women and girls were raped,
560 injured.

+ Neslişah Arslan (MeryemNesli)
Bus is one thing. But we keep men’s shoes in front of the door of our flat to hide we are alone at home.

+ göklin (pembisfloyd)
The asshole who held my hand in the bus and said “Are you sure about where you’re going to?”. He was my grandfather’s age.

+ Tansu Karaca (ahdedimsonra)
My first sexual harrassment experience was in the swimming pool. I was 11 when I first met these monsters.

+ yolanda (cemrehnm)
Working 8 hours for a few cents, always standing.. and he comes and asks “How about we buy you instead of this parfume?”

+ In the last 15 years
– 241 police officers
– 91 soldiers
– 17 SWAT militia
– 15 rangers
– 45 guardians
were put on trial for rape accusations. None was punished.

+Aylin Balboa (AylinBalboa)
I know that my friend, who was raped brutally by the man she loved, silently reads this hashtag.

+göründüğü gibi değil (ticaridevamet)
I’ve been wearing headscarf for years. These perverts don’t care whether you’re veiled or not. Never think of dressing yourself according to them!

+badgaldeli (badgaldeli)
I wonder how many women saw a penis for the first time when it was shown to us on the street. Mine was like that. I was 9 years old.

+gurubvakti (gurubvakti)
On the two occasions that I was harassed and complained to the police, they told me “you are beautiful tho” and “one can’t resist catcalling you”

+merikea (melikerior)
I have two pocket knives and a pepper spray in my bad. For a 10-minute walk, I go equipped like Tomb Raider.

+ Arya ^^ (@aryalera)
Ice cream, damn it, just plain ice cream. Would one abstain from eating ice cream on the street? Well, that’s the way it is.

+ Filiiiiiz (@filizksnglu)
It’s when men read stories tagged #tellyourstory and say “I am petrified, I cannot believe it.”, and when women read and don’t even get surprised about any.

+ Damla (@damla_aydin_)
The bestfriend of your partner encounters you in the toilet entrance in the middle of the night, and says ‘How about you confuse which room to enter?’. Having breakfast with that guy in the same table tomorrow morning.

+ Zümrüt (@ZmrtEsirogluu)
She shouldn’t have gone out all alone as a girl, they say. She was dressed indecently, they say. She shouldn’t have used the bus, they say. And they never say, A human being was killed today.

+ Sanem ‏@talkingmia:
Whenever I filed a complaint on harrassment, I was further harrassed by the police and the public prosecutor. Not once did they fail to do it.

+ @burcusarar:
It’s when you enter your flat but do not turn on the lights so that they outside wouldn’t notice which flat is yours.

Bianet’s infographic http://bianet.org/english/women/161679-male-violence-2014-infographic

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