Eugenio Aristregui, who lost her sister in violence, gave Kizmaz her prize. Aristregui said her sister Alicia, who was the mother of two, was killed by her husband because of jealousy. After this incident Aristregui, with her sister Yolanda, set up an organization which spends efforts to get police protection for women victims of violence.
Ozbek: Guldunya's name will not be in our official history
Master student Isil Ozbek from Ankara came second in the "Letters to Guldunya" competition. "Your name will not be in the official history Guldunya," wrote Ozbek. "You will be ignored in your death the same way you were ignored in life, even worse. Some will speak about violence and torture that are 'well-deserved.'" Ozbek got her prize from Emine Yaman, who has faced domestic violence.
Yaman's husband wanted to get divorced to marry another woman. Yaman accepted the divorce but was shot a month before the hearing on the alimony. She is paralyzed from waist down. Yaman attended the ceremony in a wheelchair.
Ozbey: They named it tradition killing Guldunya
Perihan Ozbey from the province of Van became third. "Guldunya, you are not here. They named it tradition killing and sent you to eternity. Your name has become a symbol for us," wrote Ozbey. Ozbey could not make it to the ceremony on time because of a delay in the flight from Van. Shelley Spears handed Ozbey's prize to the organization committee.
Spears has faced violence from her father during her childhood, her boyfriends and then her husband after she grew up. Spears said her life changed after she called the Women's Support Line with the encouragement of a doctor. She is now trying to help other victims of domestic violence.
The Turkey branch of Amnesty International had organized the "Calling out to Guldunya" letter competition with the aim of raising awareness about honor killings, and as part of the "End Violence Against Women!" campaign.
Guldunya Toren, who was raped by her aunt's son-in-law and got pregnant, was killed by her brothers to 'clean the honor of the family.' Toren, with her tragedy, played a big role in raising awareness about the honor killings in Turkey.
For that reason Amnesty International had called on everyone, who has something to say about the honor killings, which is the most terrifying form of domestic violence and which is committed with cold blood, to write a
letter to Guldunya.
The competition had no limitations over age or sexuality. The most important criteria for the competition was to write in a language sensitive to social sexuality and have an attitude aimed at changing the social acceptance of violence against women. The following served in the jury: Aylin Aslim; Emine Yaman; Halime Guner; Ilkay Bahcetepe; Leyla Ipekci; Leyla Pervizat; Nebahat
Akkoc; Sevket Akdemir; Yesim Denizel; Yildirim Turker
Jury's special awards
Songul Mengutay, who sent a letter to the competition from the M-type prison in Gebze, Kocaeli, Onur Ucar from Tarsus, Mersin, and Inci Dal Esenyurt from Istanbul got the jury's special awards.
A total of 302 letters were sent to the "Calling out to Guldunya" competition from a total of 43 provinces in Turkey, from Switzerland and Germany. Competitors were between the ages 12-86. Seventy percent of the competitors were women. A total of 16 women and 22 men from 13 different prisons sent letters to Guldunya. (AD/TK)