As women who work, create discourse, and are involved in the policies of combating violence against women, we came together at the 19th annual Assembly of Women’s Shelters and Solidarity Centers, hosted by the Adana Women’s Solidarity Center. The Assembly took place between October 15-17, and it was focused on “Local Government Approaches to Combating Violence Against Women, and Opportunities to Collaborate with Women’s Organizations”, and 330 women from 29 cities, 68 women’s and LGBTI organizations, and 61 public bodies and councils were in attendance.

As women’s organizations fighting against male violence towards women, feminists, and staff working in town councils and institutions under the Ministry of Family and Social Policies working to prevent violence against women, we came together for the 18th time in Ankara this year between November 14-16 to share our knowledge and experience and to strengthen women’s solidarity against male violence. This year’s Assembly’s main subject was “The Collective Force of Women Against Male Violence: Avenues of Solidarity and Resistance”.

As women’s organizations that combat male violence against women, feminists, and social workers working in local councils and social services to prevent violence against women, we came together to share our knowledge and experience and to strengthen our solidarity against male violence for the 17th time between October 25-27 in Diyarbakir. This year’s main topic was “Preventing Male Violence Means Preventing Female Murders: The Current Situation, the Shortcomings of State Mechanisms, and Our Demands", and 60 women’s organizations and around 200 women were in attendance.

As women’s organizations, feminists, and social workers from councils and social services who want to stand in solidarity with women, we are fighting back against male violence, and this year we came together for our 16th annual Assembly in Istanbul between October 25-27. Turkey’s biggest platform against violence against women is the Assembly for Women’s Shelters and Solidarity Centers, and there were about 200 women in attendance this year.

As women and women’s organizations who fight to prevent violence against women and who run shelters and solidarity centers for women to set up new lives away from violence, we came together for the 15th annual Assembly of Women’s Shelters and Solidarity centers in Özdere, İzmir, between October 12-14.

The workshop defines violence against women as one of the most significant means of exerting power over women’s bodies and labour by men and continuing this under the patriarchal system. Violence against women is born out of the inequality between men and women.

As women’s organisations fighting against domestic violence against women, we came together for our 13th annual meeting between December 17-19 in Söke this year. The main topic of the 13th Assembly on Women’s Shelters and Solidarity Centres was the fight against female murders. Through productive discussions, we strengthened our solidarity, and decided to continue our work following the decisions we have outlined below.

Almost 70 organisations from all around Turkey were in attendance in this year’s Assembly between December 11-13, and they are setting things in motion so that laws are implemented without delay and the required number of women’s shelters opened. Independent women’s organisations that operate shelters and counselling/solidarity centres, council and Social Services members, experts and activists came together in Adana for the 12th Assembly on Women’s Shelters and Solidarity Centres between December 11-13. Around 164 women were in attendance on the first day of the assembly, and the six workshops on the second day had a total of around 140 participants. The concluding manifesto of the assembly, published today, follows.

As independent women’s groups who run shelters and solidarity centres to combat violence against women, councils, social workers, university representatives from related departments, and feminist women, we came together in Van between October 11-13, 2008. Around 130 women were in attendance at the 11th Assembly on Women’s Shelters and Solidarity Centres.

As independent women’s groups who run shelters and counselling/solidarity centres, we came together with representatives from councils, SHÇEK, related university departments, and feminist women for the 10th Assembly on Women’s Shelters and Solidarity Centres in Istanbul between December 7-9. On the first day of the assembly, about 200 women were in attendance, and the six workshops held on the second day involved around 100 participants.

The 9th Assembly on Women’s Shelters and Counselling/Solidarity Centres was held between November 24-26 in Izmir. The assembly was attended by 134 women working in women’s organisations or wishing to work in the field. The funding for the 9th Assembly on Women’s Shelters and Solidarity Centres was provided by the Heinrich Böll Foundation as in the previous years.

At the 8th Assembly on Women’s Shelters and Solidarity Centres held in Diyarbakır, a portion of the schedule was followed while workshops were not held. Debates stretched into the second and third day. The three-day duration of the assembly was not sufficient for the debates to be resolved and for a concluding manifesto to be prepared.

The Assembly on Women's Shelters and Solidarity Centres began as an initiative by the Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation, and for the past six years it has been a part of the United Nations’ International End Violence Towards Women Day on November 25. The seventh assembly took place in Çanakkale between December 3-5, 2004, and 77 women’s organisations and groups from all round Turkey came together. We thank the Çanakkale Association for the Utilization of Women’s Handicrafts (ELDER) for hosting us, the Communication Centre for their organisation efforts, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation for funding support.

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