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Seeking Peace Transforming The Law: The Case of Women’s Courts

Writer: Özlem Kaya, Özgür Sevgi Göral

Publication Date: 2018

Publisher: Hafıza Merkezi - Truth Justice Memory Center


This present report is the second concrete output of our belief that the rights violations, and the pursuits of truth and justice in the context of these violations, as well as the discussions on transitional justice must be gendered. The report discusses the “women’s courts”, which is a mechanism that can create a space for the truth and justice pursuits and the struggles for peace carried out by women in Turkey and on the global scale.

The Memory Studies Program of the Truth Justice Memory Center essentially aims to document serious human rights violations and generate information and knowledge about these violations. Making this information a subject of the memorialization initiatives in different forms constitutes the basis of the Memory Studies Program’s (Memory and Peace Studies since 2017) area of work. Since its foundation in 2011 to date, the program’s main field of activity has been to collect the information that constitutes the database on enforced disappearances created by the Center. Additionally, the program has considered the gender based analysis of rights violations as one of its primary areas of focus. In the context of Turkey where the great majority of the forcibly disappeared are men, the idea of looking at the experiences of the disappeared persons’ spouses emerged from this gender based approach. In 2014, from this standpoint; namely that an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon of enforced disappearance necessitates a consideration of the experiences of the wives of the disappeared and also a feminist approach that the experiences of the wives of the disappeared should be a subject of analysis in and of itself, program officers Özlem Kaya and Hatice Bozkurt wrote the report titled “Holding Up the Photograph”: Experiences ofthe Women Whose Husbands were Forcibly Disappeared.