World Humanitarian Summit Signature Campaign – Individual

This is our letter from Turkey on the occasion of the World Humanitarian Summit, taking place in Istanbul, between the 23rd and the 24th May 2016. 

The whole world knows the reason for migration is war and poverty. The solution is peace and equal sharing of resources. If this kind of summits with such budgets are to be held; then all the parties and states must ensure the respect of human rights and women’s human rights, zero tolerance for violence beginning from domestic life, disarmament, ending the security oriented border policies and an equal sharing of resources

We raise our voice from a country, where we are forced to search for numbers that they don’t want us to know, and where we have to struggle to escape from numbers we are swamped with. From Turkey, which is hosting the largest number of immigrants and refugees in the world since 2014 and where, for this reason, the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit will be held.

From a country which rings alarm bells in its parliament because of a 1,7 percent divorce rate in response to a 7,7 percent marriage rate a year, while not want us to know and research how many women are murdered by men, by their partners, ex-partners, fiancées every day and how many children are exposed to sexual violence under the protection of the state and state-supported institutions. From a country whose recipe of male hegemony with a religious sauce of the most conservative kind encourages forced and early marriages by demanding to lower the marriage age and that women should “have 3 even 5 children”…

We call out from Turkey, where we are tired but insisting to count the number of people lost in armed conflicts, via bombs and workplace murders and so on, as well as the number of people from cities under armed-conflicts, who are forced to internal migration and are not included in the scope of humanitarian aid.

And in this country, we start almost every day with the statement “we are hosting our 3 million Syrian sisters and brothers and spent 30 billion dollars until now”. However, we don’t know actually how many Syrian girls and women are exploited, exposed to forced and early marriage under the cover of almsgiving and forced into sex work, in other words, are subjected to human trafficking and how many of the freely walking human traffickers get actually punished.

It’s the sixth year of 3 million Syrian people, 75 percent of whom women and children, were forced to live in Turkey. We are in a situation, where on the one hand the refugees are considered as “temporary guests”, which is why there are no permanent protection and social cohesion oriented policies; and on the other hand where, like in all other critical issues, there is no transparency regarding the asserted budget spent for the refugees. Unfortunately, benefitting from the relatively better health care services doesn’t apply for violence against women.

Turkey, as a country of transit and resettlement, is letting in immigrants in growing numbers since the 90s. Nevertheless, there are no protective measures to prevent discrimination and violence against not only Syrian women, but also immigrant, asylum-seeker and refugee women from various nationalities and countries who are subjected to gender based violence and discrimination at their workplaces, at home and in the streets. We know, the capacity of the shelters and consulting centers provided by the Ministry of Family and Social Policies is not developed to ensure the necessary support for refugee and immigrant women and we are also aware that the available capacity isn’t even enough for women from Turkey. While boasting about being the first country to ratify the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe, we wonder why not even a small part of the mentioned 30 billion dollars is allocated to open multilingual and multicultural gender based violence counseling centers for refugees and immigrants, as foreseen in the Convention.

On the other side, while talking about a Turkey, where making the refugees political actors without their wills causes embitterment and xenophobia among opposing people to the government policies and where above all climate of peace is destroyed; we want to ask all participant states of the summit: Are you sure, that Turkey is a safe country for refugees, especially for women, children and LGBTI individuals?

We need to ask to States of EU members, which violate the most important “non-refoulement” principle of the Geneva Convention of 1951 by making the deal with the Turkish Government to send the refugees in Europe to Turkey, and all the countries, which don’t raise their voices against this deal: Will you be able to repair the damages to humanity by destroying the hopes of the refugees, who left thousands of victims in the Mediterranean Sea behind them to arrive at the European coast, by spending another 3,5 billion euros?

We want to remind that, Turkey and many EU member states which are re-victimizing millions of refugees by putting them on the table of negotiation, also have part in occurrence of this victimization. We are concerned about the Syrian people, considering that the whole world has been watching the Palestinian people being sentenced to a life in conflicts and in refugee camps for more than 65 years. We believe that starting with women and people who stand for peace and human values, in Europe and in the whole world, will unmask those who benefit from the Geneva negotiations not resulting in peace.

The whole world knows the reason for migration is war and poverty. The solution is peace and equal sharing of resources. If this kind of summits with such budgets are to be held; then all the parties and states must ensure the respect of human rights and women’s human rights, zero tolerance for violence beginning from domestic life, disarmament, ending the security oriented border policies and an equal sharing of resources. 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol must be implemented without reservations. In cases of humanitarian crisis, more resources should be allocated to humanitarian crises and it should be ensured that the most vulnerable groups like women, girls and LGBTI individuals benefit from these resources as a priority. Necessary measures should be taken to guarantee refugees a life in dignity; and lack of access to services due to a lack of data and ignorance must be prevented.

And most importantly, meetings like WHS should become a ground for ensuring an active and democratic participation of women’s human rights, human rights, defenders of peace and life in humanitarian action processes.

Women’s Solidarity Foundation, Turkey



World Humanitarian Summit Signature Campaign - Individual

This petition is now closed.

End date: Jun 26, 2016

Signatures collected: 120

Signature goal: 1000

120 signatures
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