Refugee women celebrate Women’s Day in Turkey’s Cappadocia
İnci Hazal Özcan – NEVŞEHİR
“It is not tolerable for a woman to have a profession, work or achieve her dreams in our culture. I rose against my family to follow my dreams,” said Syrian refugee Duva Sıra, one of the attendees of the 12th Cappadocia Refugee Women’s Meeting organized by the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (SGDD).
Her dream is to set up a design studio to provide a better future for her children, she told Hürriyet Daily News.
Women with various backgrounds have gathered in Nevşehir, the central point of the world-famous historical Cappadocia region, to amp up women’s empowerment and solidarity by participating in events and cultural tours.
As part of the meeting, the project “The Neighboring Women’s Patchwork”, in which many women from 10 different provinces manufactured hand-made clothing items to form an 80-meter-long traditional patchwork, has made its debut in the amphitheater of Avanos.
Each of the hand crafted items, prepared at support centers of the foundation, displays the different cultural aspects and identities of various ethnic backgrounds.
With this unique event, many refugees have also had the opportunity to establish contact and bond with Turkish nationals, in a bid to relieve their integration to Turkish culture and social life.
“I am now able to stand on my own two feet. I am getting stronger and stronger every day in the country which I came in a devastated state,” said Manal Alamir Sulamian, a Syrian woman who has taken refuge with her three children in Turkey.
“In Afghanistan, I wasn’t even able to get out of the house. It was a home full of sorrow and a country clouded with agony. Now in Turkey, my children are happy and I am doing everything I can to improve myself. I am running after opportunities to which I was not able to reach before,” said Farideh Taheri, an Afghani woman who came to Turkey two years ago with her family.
Established in 1995, the SGDD have been providing services to asylum seekers and migrants without any discrimination of language, religion, gender or political ideology.