The Mother Taybet Women’s Counseling Center in the Silopi district of Şırnak has become the shelter of women in the district. The center, which has received more than 50 applications from women victims of violence, aims to reach more women.
The Silopi Municipality is one of the municipalities won by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). While trustees have been appointed to many HDP municipalities, the Silopi Municipality is one of the HDP municipalities that trustees have not been appointed yet. The municipality has won the appreciation of women in the district because of its efforts for women. In July 2020, the municipality’s Women’s Policies Directorate opened the Mother Taybet Women’s Counseling Center (Taybet Ana Kadın Danışmanlık Merkezi) in the Cudi neighborhood of the district.
The center has reached hundreds of women by holding meetings and workshops in the neighborhoods to raise awareness against gender-based violence and drug addiction along with women psychologists and sociologists working for the center. So far, the center has received more than 50 applications from women victims of violence and aims to reach more women.
It provides psychological and legal support
We spoke to psychologist Nergiz Ant, director of the Silopi Municipality’s Women’s Policies Directorate, about the purpose and activities of the center. She told us that the women in the district have come to the center to share their problems since the center was opened. Underlining that the center provides psychological and legal support to women, Nergiz Ant said that the women of the district suffer mostly from the economic crisis and male violence.
“Women have come to the center without fear”
“The women applying to the center suffer mostly from unemployment. They are worried about how to earn a living. Actually, they feel fed up with violence and want to get rid of it. We do our best to help women in the fight against violence. Since we opened this center, the women of the district have been coming to the center and sharing their problems with us without fear,” Nergiz Ant told us.
“We have held awareness-raising workshops”
The center has held workshops in the neighborhoods to raise awareness against gender-based [violence] and drug addiction. Speaking about the activities of the center, Nergiz Ant said, “We have carried out awareness-raising activities for the women. In addition, we have held seminars in neighborhoods to raise awareness against child abuse. Recently, the district has suffered from drug addiction. We have carried out awareness-raising activities to end drug addiction.”
“Alternative safe spaces should be created for women”
Pointing out that women leave women’s shelters and apply to them again, Nergiz Ant said, “Alternative safe spaces should be created for women, who are subjected to violence. We send women victims of violence to relevant places, but then we do not receive any information about them. In general, the next process worries us because women leave women’s shelters and apply to us again. They tell us that they cannot stay there anymore. Alternative safe spaces should be created for them.”
“Women demand more activities from us”
Nergiz Ant told us that they have reached hundreds of women by carrying out activities in neighborhoods. “Women demand more activities from us. All women living in the district know each other and keep in touch with each other. When 50 women attend our activities, they bring more women to our next activities. We observe that the women participating in our activities are more aware of their rights.”
“Women understand women better”
“Other municipalities should also have the Women’s Policies Directorate,” Nergiz Ant said, “Women’s centers play an important role in the region. Women participate in the activities of these centers and learn more about their rights. They receive both psychological and legal support from these centers. Women understand women better.”
Who is Mother Taybet?
On December 19, 2015, Taybet İnan was shot by snipers in the Silopi district of Şırnak province during a 24-hour curfew declared in the district. She remained on the ground for hours, injured, and died in front of her children. Her brother-in-law Yusuf İnan, who tried to take the body, was also shot to death. The dead body of Taybet İnan was left on the street for seven days. Security forces opened fire on everyone, who tried to take her body by carrying a white flag, and injured her husband in the arm. She was buried after 23 days and her children and husband were not allowed to attend her funeral. Her husband Halit İnan said that Taybet İnan looked at him and said, “I’m cold and I am very thirsty.”
The following video unfortunately does not contain English language subtitles.