Women’s Voice for Peace

The “Women’s Voice for Peace” project, in partnership with Operation 1325 and the Swedish Institute, is an initiative that seeks to address the issues of “peace” and “security” from the distinctive perspective of women. Historically, these topics have been predominantly discussed within political circles, often overlooking the invaluable insights and experiences that women bring to the table. Our goal was to serve as a catalyst in amplifying the voice of peace within civil society and the media. 

This initiative endeavors to empower women as peacebuilders by utilizing translations, original content, videos, and podcasts. Its main goal is to bring attention to ongoing wars and conflicts, with a specific emphasis on the Kurdish situation in Turkey, by offering a unique women’s perspective and emphasizing the significance of peacebuilding.

On December 8, the project’s debut event was held at the serenità pera, our social hub, which is managed by the SES Equality and Solidarity Association, to reveal the project’s achievements. The gathering provided a platform for the women engaged in the project, including journalists, academics, film directors, and podcasters, to share their experiences and perspectives on the production process, fostering a rich and insightful exchange of ideas.

Following the introductions by Gülseren Onanç, the Founder and President of the SES Equality and Solidarity Association, Charlotte Lind, the Manager of Operation 1325, and Gregory Goldenzwaig from the Swedish Institute, as well as the project coordinator Eda Doğançay, we screened a series of five video documentaries prepared by Ayşegül Doğan, Ekin Çalışır, Fatma Çelik, Güliz Sağlam, and Mehveş Evin.

The podcast series “Women’s Voice in Civil Society” delves into the crucial role of civil society in peacebuilding by sharing the experiences and stories of Kurdish women who are actively advocating for human rights. This comprehensive five-part podcast features the active participation of women working in rights-based civil society organizations, both voluntary and paid, across different cities. Listeners are offered a glimpse into the individual and organizational narratives of these Kurdish women, shedding light on their efforts, activities, and actions, as well as their significant contributions to addressing the Kurdish issue and seeking its resolution.

Academic and activist Ferda Fahrioğlu Akın leads the preparation and presentation of this podcast, which hosts remarkable guests such as Didar Erdem, the President of the Society and Law Studies Foundation (TOHAV); Dilan Onuk, a dedicated volunteer at the Lotus Youth Field Association; lawyer Özlem Yılmaz, serving as the Chairperson of the Human Rights Agenda Association; Berfin Coşkun, the Co-Director of Young Peacebuilders of Turkey (Türkiye Genç Barış-İnşacıları İnisiyatifi); and Kadriye Aysel Fidan, one of the founding members of the Cultural Studies for Peace Association.

In the podcast series “Global Voice,” the significance of international actors and dynamics in peace processes is thoroughly explored. The program delves into the influence of global actors and their interactions within domestic politics while offering a gender perspective on peace and international relations in Turkey. Leading the way in this insightful podcast is academic Begüm Zorlu, who engages with esteemed guests, including Prof. Dr. Ayşe Betül Çelik, Prof. Dr. Evren Balta, Prof. Dr. Yakın Ertürk, and Dr. Leila Alieva.

Women’s Voice for Peace Video-Documentary Series

As part of the project, five video documentaries were created, each directed and produced by female journalists and directors. These documentaries shed light on the political, civil society, legal, and artistic challenges faced by Kurdish women. 

  • A life dedicated to peace: Aysel Tuğluk

How much do we really know about Aysel Tuğluk, who evolved from a young lawyer and human rights defender to one of the powerful female figures of Kurdish politics? The video-documentary “Aysel”, produced by journalist Mehveş Evin and director Nesrin Ölmez as part of the “Women’s Voice for Peace” project, focuses on Tuğluk’s life and her struggle in politics.

Aysel Tuğluk, who was arrested when she was the deputy co-chair of the HDP, gradually drifted into dementia after the racist attack on her mother’s funeral. She was released in October 2022 after two years, despite a report by independent organizations stating that she “could not stay in prison.” Aysel Tuğluk’s story is told with anecdotes and reflections by fellow companions, such as Eren Keskin, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Reyhan Yalçındağ and Ahmet Türk. 

  • Truth, determination, courage, hope: Eren Keskin

Eren Keskin has been defending human rights in Turkey for decades without compromising despite the threats and attacks she has been subjected to. Her struggle is characterized by truth, determination, courage and hope. This film produced by journalist Ayşegül Doğan  and director Nesrin Ölmez, which focuses on the life of Eren Keskin, co-founder of the Legal Aid Office against Sexual Harassment and Rape in Custody and Co-Chair of IHD, also refreshes the memory of Turkey’s recent political history.

Eren Keskin, who suffered two armed attacks, was threatened and lynched almost every day on social media, had a total of 143 lawsuits against her, and was sentenced to 26 years and 9 months in prison, says, “Many people ask why you don’t give up when you have been through so much” and adds: “I always define the struggle for human rights as our debt to our dead ones. It is as if they are watching us from somewhere and telling us not to give up.”

  • Rosa – For our rights and our lives

The Rosa Women’s Association was established in 2018, building upon the years of determined struggle for freedom by Kurdish women. 

In this video-documentary by filmmaker and feminist video-activist Güliz Sağlam, we witness the story of women struggling for their rights and lives, trying to fill the void left by the trustee’s closure of women’s solidarity and counseling centers by creating a space where they can come together once again.

  •  Kezî


The inspiring journey of Fatma Taşlı Tunç unfolds as she shares her life through the medium of poetry. Having taught herself to read and write, Tunç poignantly expresses her family struggles, desires, and rebellions in her verses. Her poetry primarily centers around the lives of Kurdish women, capturing their experiences and realities. In addition to her poetic expression, Tunç hosts a program called ‘Jiyana Dayikan (Women’s Lives)’ on Jin TV, where she further explores and highlights the stories of women. 

In a remarkable film directed by Fatma Çelik, we have the privilege to follow Tunç’s life as it beautifully intertwines with her heartfelt poetry, offering a captivating glimpse into her world and the profound impact of her art.

  • Women, Life, Justice

The Diyarbakır Bar Association Women’s Rights Centre has earned commendable achievements in both the local region and Turkey as a whole. Playing an essential role in violence against women trials, the Centre advocates for justice mechanisms to consider a woman’s perspective and to approach the trials with a gender-based and political framework. The Centre not only contributes to the advancement of women’s rights but also serves as an inspiration for young women lawyers. This video-documentary titled “Women, Life, Justice”, prepared by film producer and director Ekin Çalışır, follows the struggle of Gülizar Karaman and Rozerin Yıldız, who were supported by the Diyarbakır Bar Association Women’s Rights Centre.

“It was both deeply impactful and highly inspiring to witness the dedication of these women who have been persistently fighting for women’s rights and peace for such an extended period. Being involved in this project holds immense significance for me, and I take great pride in knowing that Operation 1325 has provided support for this endeavor.”

Charlotte Lind

Project Manager / Organizational Development Director

“The project’s outcomes are truly remarkable and serve as a testament to the tremendous amount of effort invested in it.”

Anette Uddqvist

Director of Operation 1325

“Journalism has become increasingly challenging, particularly during this period. Expressing ourselves and addressing issues related to women, rights, and equality have become even more difficult. We often struggle to find platforms for such stories. Therefore, having the opportunity to be part of this extraordinary project fills me with immense pride. Working on film production has been a transformative experience for me. Through this project, we not only amplify the voices of women but also give space for Kurdish women to share their contributions to peacebuilding and their ongoing struggles in politics. I couldn’t be happier.”

Mehveş Evin