In line with Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer's vision of a “women-friendly city”, the “Orange Garden” and the “Women's Monument” were inaugurated as part of the 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. President Soyer said that they will resolutely fight violence against women.
In line with the “women-friendly city” vision of Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer, an important event was held as part of the 25 November International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In memory of the women who lost their lives, the opening ceremony of the “Orange Garden” in the park at the exit of the subway in Konak Square and the “Women's Monument” exhibited in the garden was held. After a minute's silence in memory of the women who lost their lives due to male violence, the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Women's Rhythm Group and the members of the Okudans Dance Sports Center organized a dance show with the theme of violence against women. Mürkmez Women's Theater actress Muhsine Kesici also attended the event by wearing a wedding dress to represent the girls who were married at a young age and to react to this situation.
“There will be a day when we re-enforce the Istanbul Convention”
Speaking at the ceremony, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer said that they want to celebrate a day where women are no longer subjected to violence and live on equal terms with men, and that they hope to establish a victory garden for this. Touching on the Istanbul Convention in his speech, President Soyer said, “This garden is the garden of our sadness, loss, hope and faith. The garden of our determination. I wish we were establishing a garden of victory to celebrate a day where women are no longer subjected to violence and live equally with men. His day will come too. Here is the garden of believing in that day, this orange garden. First garden. I know that we will reach that great day of celebration step by step. First, there will be a day when we re-enforce the Istanbul Convention. We will open a garden again that day: the second garden," he said.
“We will consider how to stop this wave of violence”
Stating that they will open a third garden on the day that women are equally represented in the decision-making mechanisms, Chairman Tunç Soyer said, “On the day we restore peace with each other and with our nature, a fourth garden will be formed. On that day when there will be no discrimination between men and women, we will be able to make decisions together and become equal with all living things on earth, we will open one more garden. Victory Garden. That garden will be the entire planet on which we live. Our victory will be a victory of peace, not a victory of war… We will call establishing justice, equality, trust and security victory. Not to kill each other. For such a victory, we have to remember every day and every minute the women who lost their lives, that is, were killed as a result of the violence they suffered. Today is World White Ribbon Day, also known as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. We will think about how to stop this wave of violence,” he said.
Combating violence against women in the public sphere
Emphasizing that thinking about violence will bring people closer together, Mayor Soyer said: “Last year, as Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, we organized an international cartoon competition on gender inequality. We asked for help from the power of humor that showed us us. More than 62 artists from 160 countries participated in the competition. We decided to exhibit the finalists out of more than 1600 works in this garden. With this sad but hopeful garden, we are involved in the United Nations' process of emphasizing the fight against violence against women in the public sphere. We remember the women we lost, not just with a monument, but with a garden.”
“We want to live”
Nilay Kökkılınç, Head of the Gender Equality Commission of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, said that in today's world, thousands of women have lost their lives as a result of violence. Stating that many women shed their tears in their hearts without being able to express the violence they experienced, Kökkılınç said, “We women, who work day and night, know how to share what we produce from the heart, make countless contributions to life with the warm feelings we have accumulated in the most sensitive corner of our hearts. We want to take part in every platform as free and equal individuals, to see the love and respect we deserve, and most importantly, to live.”
“The origin of violence against women goes back 3 years”
Elvin Sönmez Güler, Head of the Izmir Branch of the Chamber of Landscape Architects, shared striking data on violence against women. Stating that the origins of physical violence in women's lives go back 3 years according to research, Elvin Sönmez Güler said, "According to the finds, 9-20% fractures were found in the bones of male mummies, while this rate is between 30 and 50% in female mummies. These fractures are head fractures due to individual violence rather than war. Although it was known in every period and in every society that women were exposed to male violence, it was viewed as a personal problem that needed to be resolved within the family. This topic did not attract the attention of scientists. Ancient Roman inscriptions say that men have the right to punish, divorce or kill their wives for participating in games without their permission. In the Middle Ages, there was no limit to the use of force by men against women.”
Neptün Soyer, the wife of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Mayor Mustafa Özuslu, CHP Izmir Provincial Women's Branch President Nurdan Şenkal Uçar, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Former Deputy Mayor Sırrı Aydoğan, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Secretary General Dr. Buğra Gökçe, the wives of the district mayors and many citizens attended.
In memory of the murdered women
In order to draw attention to the fight against violence against women, the United Nations has decided to organize events in which the color orange is dominant, between 25 November and 10 December every year. In this context, it was decided to create Orange Gardens with orange plants in the green areas of the city in order to keep the memories of the women who were cut off from life due to male violence at the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Council. The Women's Monument, located in the first Orange Garden, designed by TMMOB Chamber of Landscape Architects İzmir Branch, was produced by transforming the work of Mojmir Mihatov, who participated in the International Gender Equality Cartoon Contest organized by the Metropolitan Municipality last year, to three-dimensional.