Bedia Şimay and Bedriye Tırak are the owners of a handicraft shop located in the Sur district of Amed. Two sisters sell the crafts made by women living in provinces such as Batman, Mardin, and Siirt in their shop to earn a livelihood. “We have provided employment opportunities for hundreds of women so far,” Bedia Şimay said.
Bedia Şimay and Bedriye Tırak are two sisters running a handicraft shop in the Aşefçiler Bazaar of Amed’s Sur district for eight years. Despite their advanced age, they keep working to provide employment opportunities for women in the region. They receive many handmade crafts such as headscarves, socks, and woolen dresses from women living in many provinces such as Batman, Mardin, and Siirt and they sell these handmade crafts in their shop. “We support women in this way,” 60-year-old Bedia Şimay told us.
The only female artisans of the bazaar
In the morning, Bedriye Tırak (55) and Bedia Şimay open their shop together. These two women are the only female artisans of the bazaar. They opened the shop eight years ago but they have been in this business for more than 16 years. “Women living Midyat, Nusaybin, Batman, Siirt, and Urfa provinces send us their handmade crafts and we sell them in our shop. We earn money from this business and support the women to make money from their homes. The door of our shop is open for every woman; they can make handmade crafts and we can sell their products in our shop. Most women living in this region know us and they get in contact with us to sell their products in our shop. We just get a small amount commission per product.”
“Depending on other people for a living is a shame for women, not working”
The two sisters order new products from women after selling the products in their shop. They are happy to stand on their own legs. “As two sisters, we have worked in this shop for eight years. In the past, people said working was a shame for women. But now, women work everywhere. Depending on other people for a living is a shame for women, not working. I feel happy when I earn my own money to look after my family,” Bedia Şimay said.
“We work and earn together”
Bedia Şimay becomes a role model for women around her. Now, all she wants is to expand their business. She wants to work through her life despite her advanced age. “All products we sell here are the hope and effort of women. By selling these products, we give women more hope. I want to expand my business. I am an old woman now but I want to keep supporting women so I will work through my life.”