YAKA-KOOP, Van, Turkey – Protection against violence in the name of honour

„“Early forced marriage of girls is violence!“ Gülmay Gümüshan (vierte v.r.), founder and leader of YAKA-KOOP. Photo: © Dr. Necla Kelek“Early forced marriage of girls is violence!“ Gülmay Gümüshan (vierte v.r.), founder and leader of YAKA-KOOP.
Photo: © Dr. Necla Kelek
Area of intervention: province of Van, East Turkey

Supported by TDF since: 2014

Target group: girls and women affected by forced marriage, physical or sexualised violence who are living in economic dependency


  • Van has about 400.000 inhabitants, most of them Kurds
  • The society is strictly patriarchal and traditional, family honour matters a lot
  • About 42% of the girls and women over 14 years have experienced violence in their families
  • About 34% of the men said that domestic violence is acceptable under certain conditions (Hürriyet Daily News)
  • In 2014, 287 women died due to domestic violence according to official numbers
  • Additional to that, girls and women are disadvantaged in education and in the labour market, the economy is based on farming, women mostly do domestic work without payment
  • This economic dependence often leads to forced marriage and dependence on their husbands, the women call this “economic violence”

Project activities:

  • Education work about women’s and human rights
  • Legal and psychological consultation about forced marriage and violence
  • Vocation and further training for girls and women, literacy classes
  • Education about family planning and sexuality
  • Workshops about textile production
  • Selling of textiles to open up ways to economic independence


  • A big success was that the organisation started a public debate about early marriages, 17 villages with the leaders and the imams took part in big events
  • The textile production led to many personal successes of individual women
  • Over 900 women took part in a drawing competition about early marriages and violence against women
  • The direct contact to the women in the villages is very welcomed and successful

Project leader: Gülmay Gümüshan

Contacts: Voluntary project coordinators Dr. Necla Kelek and Şermin Güven (tuerkei@frauenrechte.de)
or TERRE DES FEMMES – section international cooperation (iz@frauenrechte.de)


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You can also donate with the key word “Turkey” on the following account:

Konto 103 116 000
BLZ 830 944 95
IBAN DE35 8309 4495 0103 1160 00


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