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Mor Çatı to hold auction to fund new women’s shelter in Turkey

Last Update 22.10.2010

The Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation, which provides judicial, social and psychological support for women exposed to violence, will put artists’ costumes up for sale in an auction to raise funds to open another women’s shelter.

Mor Çatı, a pioneer in women’s shelters in Turkey, is preparing to celebrate its 20th anniversary at Otto Santral on Nov. 8 with an event that will bring together artists, businessmen and intellectuals. The proceeds from the night’s charity auction will be used to open a brand-new women’s shelter.

Along with local artists such as Ajda Pekkan, Emel Sayın, Gönül Yazar, Hülya Koçyiğit, Hülya Avşar, Lale Belkıs, Nilüfer, Orhan Gencebay, Sezen Aksu, Tarkan, Tuncel Kurtiz, Türkan Şoray and Zuhal Olcay, foreign artists including Buika and Monica Molina have donated costumes for the night’s auction.

Among the corporate sponsors of the event are Rafineri, in charge of the event’s communications, Zarakol, responsible for the public relations, Trafa, handling the auction, Alif Art, preparing the hall and catering, and Otto Santral, providing the venue. The night’s organizers are Gülay Kamaz, Berrin Yoleri and Deniz Marşan.

Since its founding Mor Çatı has been working to eliminate obstacles and change the laws to help women. Information acquired by Mor Çatı from interviews with victimized women has been regularly shared with authorities and a large audience.

Mor Çatı has run three shelters at international standards since it was founded, and still operates one of them. Fully 80 percent of women and children who spend time at Mor Çatı’s shelters are able to set up a life free of violence once they leave the shelter. With the proceeds from the benefit auction, a shelter with more suitable living conditions will be established.

According to Mor Çatı, violence against women creates a vital threat to the right to life all over the world. “One in every three women is exposed to physical violence, including beatings. Physical violence is not limited to this,” Mor Çatı said.

Research conducted on the issue by Mor Çatı illustrates that violence against women is multifaceted and includes verbal or economic aspects including mocking, accusations, jealousy, eradicating trust, sending children away and withholding money. All of these factors not only leave permanent traces on women’s bodies, they also scar their inner world, Mor Çatı said. The victims of this violence are also the children who witness the incidents.

The U.N.’s Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, or CEDAW, said at the source of violence lies the discrimination against women in society. CEDAW holds the countries that have signed the contract to prevent discrimination responsible for eradicating discrimination and Turkey is one of them, said Mor Çatı.

According to Mor Çatı’s statistics, every day five women in Turkey are killed by their husbands, ex-husbands or partners. However, the guilty often avoid punishment in the courts using the excuse of “unfair sedition.”

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