The credibility of a public service ad with President Erdoğan

The credibility of a public service ad with President Erdoğan

Thank God. Finally, we have heard something nice about women from the president: “Violence against women is a betrayal of humanity.”

I think the latest public service announcement currently on TV is great. However, the fact that I liked it does not mean I believed it. I do want to believe the president, that’s correct. But I don’t.

Of course it is a good thing to say, “Violence against women is betrayal to humanity.” But is that really adequate? 

After all the statements he has made against women up to now… “Do not raise your voice against men. Men and women are not equal. Sit at home and bear children. Accept your nature, your destiny.” 

There is a mentality and combination of policies that has declared a war against feminism, that has viewed women as second class citizens and that conducts politics over women’s bodies.

Only a democrat at elections
We have upcoming elections. Of course they would prepare and broadcast such a public announcement on International Women’s Day.

If I attempt to write one by one what the president has said against women up to now, there would not be any space left for me to write this column.

This is his style anyway. When he needs votes, he becomes a democrat; at other times he dictates and tells people off people, saying this is in nature, etc.

In short, as a woman I do indeed hope that this public announcement comes true. But as a woman I also trust my instincts. Unfortunately I do not believe it will come true.

If the president follows up on this matter, we will follow him up.

We need role models like Itır Erhart

“Do you think running a marathon is hard? Try chemotherapy.”

Everything started with a poster saying this. Itır Erhart, who is now an associate professor at Bilgi University’s Media Communication Systems Department, was in Chicago doing research for her Ph.D when she saw the poster at a bus stop.

At first she could not correlate marathons and chemotherapy, but later she found out that they were running to raise funds for leukemia. She became one of them and started running herself
After a while she raised funds through running, and when she was back in Turkey, she pondered how she could do the same here.

In the end she succeeded. The organization she helped found seven years ago, “Adım Adım” (Step By Step), now includes 300,000 people.

I think this is a “modern apostolate.” It is distributing goodness in circles, in steps. This is how you transform a society.

I take my hat off to Itır Erhart.

Just as focus on stories involving violence against women, we should also focus on stories about role models like Itır. They are a source of motivation and inspiration for everybody.

The system work as follows: The runners for “Adım Adım” choose one of eight participating charity projects.

They then explain the system to their friends and acquaintances. Each runner is asked to send out at least 200 donation messages. Statistically, 10 percent of these messages come back as donations, but awareness has been raised in 200 people. With this method, each year the number of runners and the number of donations increase…