French Secularism: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

By Dorien Julia Rijkens

Laïcité, the well-loved term referring to secularism in France, has been under excruciating pressure after the recent string of attacks in France, including the brutal beheading of schoolteacher Samuel Paty, performed by a handful of fundamentalist members of the Muslim community. French President Emmanuel Macron declared Paty’s murder to be “a typical Islamist terrorist attack” and claimed the need for France, and the rest of the world, to “fight Islamist separatism,” as Islam is an ideology which claims that “its own law should be superior to those of the Republic.” Macron’s rhetoric and actions stirred outrage all over the Islamic World, from Turkey to Tunisia, from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia, as these statements, justified by French secularism according to Macron, are positioned on the fine line between secularism and islamophobia. In this article, I will argue that President Macron’s rhetoric and actions cannot be justified solely on the basis of secularism because they challenge the established relationship between the “West” and the “East.”

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Citizenship and the Democratic Deficit of the European Union

By María Belén Silva Campos

The European integration began as an economic cooperation that evolved into a political entity after the foundation of the European Union, a sui generis organization that has developed into a new “type of political system by evolving from a horizontal system of interstate cooperation into a vertical and multi-layered policy-making polity.” [1] In this sense, traditional theories, such as federalism, confederalism, functionalism, neo-functionalism, intergovernmentalism or supranationalism, cannot be used to fully explain  nor improve it.

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Keeping your Eurocompetence project alive — United Citizens of Europe

Luca, Anton and Hannah are all part of the 2019-2021 cohort. Luca studied in Groningen in his first semester, Anton in Krakow and Hannah in Uppsala. They all three got to know each other during their second semester in Strasbourg. All three decided to pursue the professional track in their third semester, leaving them spread across the continent: Luca in Sofia, Hannah in Geneva and Anton in Berlin. They are all co-founders of United Citizens of Europe and each brings a different expertise to the project.

Euroculturer Magazine (EM): Hi Luca, Anton and Hannah. Tell us a bit more about how the United Citizens of Europe project came into being and what you are trying to accomplish.

United Citizens of Europe (UCoE): The original idea behind United Citizens of Europe was to have a MEU (Model European Union) on European Citizenship and golden visas. The pandemic forced us to change our format and our overall initial idea. In the end, we decided to carry out live interviews on Instagram, hosting guests with a relevant background in the European institutional and civil society sector. The original team was composed of five members; only two of us are still here. When contemplating whether or not to continue with the project, we knew we wanted Anton to join because of his creative mind and attention to detail.

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Behind the scenes: meet the Euroculture Staff – Marcella Zandonai

Interview conducted by Johanna Pieper & Paola Gosio

Marcella Zandonai is an Euroculture alumni (cohort 2015-2017) from Trento, Italy. She spent her first semester at the University of Göttingen, Germany, and continued her Euroculture studies in Bilbao, Spain. After doing some volunteering, travelling in New Zealand and working for a local NGO in Trento, she joined Euroculture again in 2020 as the Assistant Coordinator at the University of Göttingen.

Euroculture Magazine (EM): What were your expectations when you applied/started your job position as professor or coordinator and does it match the reality?

Marcella Zandonai (MZ): I have to say that I started my job in a very unrealistic period of our Earth´s life. The 2020 health crisis completely changed my perception and my work tasks as well. When I started, there were actually hints of a return to normal life around July 2020. However, a couple of months later, the virus came back and I started working remotely
I only had a vague idea of how my job was supposed to be, since I did my MA in Euroculture as well. I was seeing my (now) ex-colleagues doing a lot of work, being outside, traveling, being with students, and enjoying themselves. I supposed that in a utopian world my job would be hectic and I would be always on the move, meeting up with people and exchanging smiles with students. 

So, my answer is: no, the job expectations did not match reality. But unfortunately, there is no one to blame. Maybe it would be easier if there was but…oh well: such is life.

When I applied I thought that the first wave would have been the first and only. But then this turned out not to be the case. We are living in uncertain times.

Continue reading “Behind the scenes: meet the Euroculture Staff – Marcella Zandonai”

My Third Semester: Internship at the Festival Academy

Interview conducted by Katarina Jarc

Valentina Musso is Italian and was part of the Euroculture 2018-2020 cohort, studying at the Universities of Krakow and Strasbourg. Before starting Euroculture, she successfully completed a Bachelor in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Pavia in Italy. She applied for Euroculture mainly because she wanted to gain a cultural and social perspective on Europe but also thanks to the Euroculture curriculum which enables students to choose a professional track in their third semester. Namely, she was eager to undertake the professional track, her first professional experience. Currently, she lives in Brussels and works as a Project Assistant at the European Commission, more precisely at the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). 

Euroculturer Magazine (EM): What were your expectations when you started the Euroculture M.A. and do they match the reality at the moment?

Valentina Musso (VM): When I applied for the Euroculture M.A. Programme I expected to gain an outright European experience that would offer me academic enrichment and contribute to my personal growth. From a personal point of view, the M.A. definitely enhanced my intercultural skills by building long-lasting relationships with people coming from all over Europe and beyond. However, from an academic perspective, the M.A. did not fully match my expectations, since I believe certain classes would have been more suitable for a Bachelor’s level. Furthermore, I found some courses’ content redundant.

Continue reading “My Third Semester: Internship at the Festival Academy”

Behind the scenes: meet the Euroculture Staff – Ashanti Collavini

Interview conducted by Johanna Pieper & Paola Gosio

Ashanti Collavini is an Euroculture alumni part of the cohort 2017-2019. She spent her first and second semester respectively at the University of Udine, in Italy, her home country, and at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands. After her MA, she immediately started working for Euroculture as the new coordinator at the University of Udine, where she previously studied.

Euroculturer Magazine (EM): What were your expectations when you started your job position as professor or coordinator and does it match the reality?

Ashanti Collavini (AC): When I first decided to accept this position, I was honestly quite terrified by the responsibility I was going to take on with my role as Udine’s Euroculture coordinator! I knew the role would imply quite some challenges, and given the fact that I had never worked in the University system before, I needed to start learning completely from scratch. Luckily enough, I had an advantage: the fact that by the time I accepted this position, I was just freshly graduated as a Euroculture student, therefore I knew already a lot about the programme from the inside and from a student perspective. For instance, I knew what the thesis portfolio was and when it was due, which deadlines I would need to take into consideration when writing the thesis or the IP paper, what the IP was. Moreover, I was aware of the difficulties that international students could come across when studying and living abroad.  However, I can say that working for the programme and experiencing it from “ the other side” gave me a completely different insight on what Euroculture entails from behind the scenes, something that as a student I could not even imagine!

EM: Can you tell us about the job-searching path you went through before choosing and being selected for this job position?

Continue reading “Behind the scenes: meet the Euroculture Staff – Ashanti Collavini”

Crimean Tatars under Stalin: Ethnic cleansing or an act of genocide?

By Kumush Suyunova

Kara-gun (dark day) – May 18, 1944 was a day when the Crimean Tatars learned the full horror of the sanitized term “deportation” as part of Stalin’s ethnic cleansing program. [1] Under the slogan “Za Rodinu”- “For the Motherland” less than a week ago, they fought in the ranks with their multinational compatriots in The Great Patriotic War.

Rifle units of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs surrounded all Tatar suburbs and drove the frightened residents to several specially designated transit points. The mentally injured Tatars were given less than an hour to collect some belongings. Accused of treason, they coped with injuries, death, inadequate living conditions, poverty, lack of community support, even their names were removed from official documents. The authorities wiped their homeland off the map, abolishing the Crimean Autonomous Republic and making Crimea a province. [2] The offensive on the cultural roots of the Crimean Tatars took place after the dispatch from their homeland.

If we refer to the origins, in his masterpiece Axis Rule in Occupied Europe R.Lemkin – the father of the term “genocide”, stated: “genocide … is intended to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups… The objectives of such a plan would be the disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups…”. [3]

A. Jones argues that in the case of the Crimean Tatars intention of genocide implied in its design of phased and general destruction of the nation, rather than in specific and clear desire of killing, as the mass death of the victims had taken place during the transit and after arrival at the place of exile as a side effect. [4]

In the history of forced resettlements, it was during transportation that the death rates were very high. In the 40s, given the situation of infrastructure and vehicles as a result of a long trip to Central Asia (mainly to the Uzbek SSR), the high death rate could certainly be predicted. It is estimated that from 190 thousand Crimean Tatars 70-90 thousand died on the way or in the first years of exile. [5]

As John Quigley argues that forcing a group out of its home area, as well as its forced assimilation arguably destroys it. As a result of threats or legal prohibitions, a group’s members may refrain from speaking their language, or from practicing their religion or customs, which can lead the group to cease to be identifiable as such. He considers two possible ways of intending to destroy a group: an intent to injure, but short of killing; and an intent to destroy the group’s social identification, like it was planned in the case of Crimean Tatars. [6]

Furthermore, N. Naimark notes that the Genocide Convention did not include crimes against social and political groups, only in order for the USSR to join the Convention. The scientist writes that “according to any objective understanding of international law, Stalin’s violence against the Soviet people could have been included in the Genocide Convention” and that researchers cannot exclude these cases from the study of genocide based on the politically motivated provisions of the Convention. [7]

William A. Schabas argues that genocide as well as ethnic cleansing may have the same goal of removing an undesirable group from a particular place of residence. He admits that ethnic cleansing, called “deportation”, remains a punishable crime against humanity and a war crime. Ethnic cleansing is also a warning sign of the coming genocide. Genocide is the last resort for disillusioned ethnic cleansing. [8]

Only after the death of Stalin in 1956 the Crimean Tatars were released from administrative supervision, but without the right to end the banishment and recovery of forfeit property. In 1967, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR eliminated the treason charge, but this decision was purely hypocritical. When Crimean Tatars tried to return to Crimea, they were sent back, as the ban on their return continued to apply.

Until 1989, no significant measures were taken. The “Declaration on the recognition of illegal and criminal repressive acts against peoples subjected to forced relocation and ensuring their rights” adopted in 1989 became the first official confirmation of victimization of the Crimean Tatars under Stalin. According to Article 2 of the Law of the RSFSR of 26.04.1991 N 1107-1 (ed. from 01.07.1993) “On rehabilitation of repressed peoples” Crimean Tatars were included in the list of repressed people under the Stalinist regime. However, their forced resettlement was mentioned as an act of genocide very vaguely and ambiguously. [9]

It is interesting to note that the question of the fate of the Crimean Tatars, seemingly, received due attention after the events of 2014. The political response by Ukraine to the annexation of Crimea by Russian Federation was the declaration of May 18 as the “Day of remembrance of the victims of the Crimean Tatars genocide”. Following Ukraine, in 2019, the parliaments of Latvia and Lithuania, as well as Canada, recognized the forced resettlement of Crimean Tatars as an act of genocide.

As B. Glyn claims, Stalin used WWII as an opportunity to carry out ethnic cleansing. Already in 1943, Stalin began a series of surprise operations aimed at the destruction of entire national groups, including the Crimean Tatars, who were arbitrarily considered guilty of “mass collaboration” with the Nazis. The accusations of mass national treason were, in all probability, just a pretext for ethnic cleansing of the border areas of the Soviet Union from the non-Slavic, mainly Islamic, population. Stalin actually used the term “Chistit”-“clean” in his orders. [10]

According to Norman Naimark, Stalin may have had some reason for questioning the loyalty of the Crimean Tatars and genuine fears of a military-political nature in connection with the strategic vulnerability of the Crimean Peninsula. However, he believes, that the forced resettlement and persecution of national groups were caused primarily not by real threats of war and infiltration, but by Stalin’s general xenophobia and his pathological fear of losing power. [11]

As a result, the attacks on certain “enemy” nationalities, like in the case of Crimean Tatars took on genocidal characteristics. In 1944, during the war, the Muslim peoples from the northern Caucasus and the Crimea were sent to “spetsposeleniya” in Central Asia. In the process of deportation and resettlement a substantial percentage of those peoples, Crimean Tatars in particular, died. It was not an act of a direct blood purge, however, Naimark claims that at the very least, the attacks against the Crimean Tatars should be considered as attempted cultural genocide. [12]

After the deportation of Crimean Tatars and the re-formation of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic into a region in 1945, the Soviet government used enormous resources to eradicate any memory of the existence of an entire culture. Topographical names of historical origin were changed, for example, the area of Ak-Metzit (White mosque) became the Black Sea district, Alushta was renamed in honor of the Russian General Kutuzov, as Alexander Pushkin honored his visit to Bakhchisarai, it was renamed in his name, and so on. Most topographical names have become a reflection of Russian history, in contrast to the Crimean Tatar history. The cultural and administrative Russification of the Crimean Tatar homeland was accompanied by government-sponsored settlement of Russians from other regions in Crimea. [13]

Furthermore, textbooks of the Crimean Tatar language published in the 1920s were burned and many aspects of the centuries-old history of the Crimean Tatars on the Peninsula were destroyed, including religious and cultural architectural elements such as cemeteries, mosques, marble fountains, and other buildings with cultural elements. Large mosques in Crimea were re-registered for use as warehouses, museums or for other purposes, including Kuma-Kami, Kebir-Kami, Khan-Kami, and the Uzbek Khan mosque, while smaller ones were destroyed on the spot. [14]

The question remains open: whether an act of genocide took place or not in the case of Crimean Tatars under Stalin. However, the facts are that half of the nation died due to expulsion, their national identity was suppressed, their cultural and traditional values were destroyed, their historical, linguistic and religious heritage was demolished, and their textbooks and literary works were burned. In addition, they were exiled due to unjustifiably strained charges of treason and were not restored to their rights, were not compensated for any moral or material damage.


References

[1]  Brian Glyn Williams, The Crimean Tatars. From Soviet Genocide to Putin’s Conquest (London: Hurst & Company, 2016), 99.
[2] Adam Jones, Genocide: a Comprehensive Introduction (London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2017), 344.
[3] Dominik J. Schaller and Zimmerer Jürgen, The Origins of Genocide: Raphael Lemkin as a Historian of Mass Violence (London: Routledge, 2013), 5.
[4] Adam Jones, Genocide: a Comprehensive Introduction (London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2017), 343.
[5] Brian Glyn Williams, The Crimean Tatars. From Soviet Genocide to Putin’s Conquest (London: Hurst & Company, 2016), 109.
[6] John Quigley, Mark Findlay, and Ralph Henham, The Genocide Convention An International Law Analysis (Abingdon, Oxon: Taylor and Francis, 2016), 101.
[7] Norman M. Naimark, Stalin’s Genocides (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010), 4.
[8] William Schabas, Genocide in International Law: the Crime of Crimes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 234.
[9] N. V. Mikhailova, L. M. Savina, Crimean Tatars: Deportation and Rehabilitation, Bulletin of the Moscow University of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia, 2015, 32-37. Original title: Н.В. Михайлова, Л.М. Савина, Крымские Татары: Депортация и Реабилитация, Вестник Московского Университета МВД России.
[10] Brian Glyn Williams, The Crimean Tatars. From Soviet Genocide to Putin’s Conquest (London: Hurst & Company, 2016), 98.
[11] Norman M. Naimark, Stalin’s Genocides (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010), 84.
[12] Ibid, 135.
[13] Ibid, 111.
[14] Ibid, 112.

Picture Credits: National Bank of Ukraine, Flickr.

Behind the scenes: meet the Euroculture Staff – Maite Sagasti

Interview conducted by Johanna Pieper & Paola Gosio

Maite Sagasti

Maite Sagasti holds a BA in History and Cultural Heritage and an MA in Spanish Heritage Management. She is currently the Euroculture course-coordinator at the University of Deusto, where she started working in 2006 and became since then a point of reference for all the Euroculture students studying at Deusto. Next to Euroculture, Maite also coordinates other Erasmus Mundus graduate programmes at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Deusto.

Euroculturer Magazine (EM): What were your expectations when you started your job position as professor or coordinator and does it match the reality?

Maite Sagasti (MS): I started to work at the Euroculture master programme in 2006. At the beginning I knew very little about how university networks work. In my previous jobs, I had the chance to work in interdisciplinary teams but always in the same institution/organization. When I started the new position, I had to do the same (at the university level) but also in the consortium level (different work cultures, languages) and for me this has been challenging but also the best part of the job. It has been really interesting to learn how the European Higher Education Institutions work together, to face the challenges and find the solutions jointly, take part in the common project to improve the programme, to work in the European Accreditation System and last but not least, the relationship with the students. I must say that this latter point is for me one the pillars of this job. Moreover, I also learn from students, from their interests and needs, which push me to update my competencies and skills constantly.

Without any doubt, the job has far exceeded my expectations.

EM: What is your academic background and can you tell us about your previous job experience before starting to work for Euroculture?

Continue reading “Behind the scenes: meet the Euroculture Staff – Maite Sagasti”

The Istanbul Convention does not save lives in Turkey anymore

By Kardelen Besime Tepe

What are the first three words one could say about Turkey? The first three words that pop up in my mind are “home”, “disgrace”, and “death.” This is not a pessimistic perspective though, even if it seems so. Facing the facts is one of the most effective ways to deal with all the problematic social issues in Turkey, especially for women, so that we can be aware of the challenges and injustice to rise against them. 

How are women rights protected in Turkey?

The modern Turkish Republic was founded in 1923 from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. Its unique historical background has caused complexities even after the series of adaptations, reforms and regulations that were adopted by the new Republican authorities, ranging from secularism to gender equality. 

Even though the success of these adaptations is still questioned, Turkey has been trying to improve its regional policy and to receive structural funds by embracing the influence of Europeanisation after the Helsinki Summit of 1999. These efforts are directed at achieving European Union (EU) standards and have challenged traditional Turkish governing institutions. Thus, the country’s gender equality policies after 2000 could be seen as motivated mostly by Turkey’s preparations for EU accession. 

The necessary legal mechanisms for the protection of women against violence already exist. In 2012, Turkey was the first country to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention

In the same year, the Turkish government also passed Law Number 6248 to Protect the Family and Prevent Violence Against Women and introduced gender equality policies. Still, violence against women can be observed in every aspect of Turkish society and, unfortunately, there are nearly no authentic actions taken by the government to truly protect women’s rights. 

The Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

Even though the ratification of international treaties rests with the TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey), on March 20, 2021, just twelve days after the International Women’s Day, Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention with an official presidential announcement. This withdrawal was spearheaded by conservative forces blaming the Convention for harming traditional values of family structure, advocating for the LGBTQ+ community and promoting homosexuality, given the pact’s non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s cabinet is trying to comfort people with an official declaration by the Foreign Ministry, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who declared that “[t]he elements of the convention and various practices created sensitivity in the public opinion and caused criticism…. Women’s rights in the national legislation of the Republic of Turkey is safeguarded by the most advanced forms.”

The latter also argued that the withdrawal from the Convention will not cause corruption on domestic regulations focusing on women’s rights and that Turkey did not need an international treaty to protect women’s rights. However, because of this withdrawal, women in Turkey are no longer under the protection of a Pan-European legal framework. 

Turkey’s decision regarding the Istanbul Convention faced brutal but reasonable international backlash. The High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell warned and urged the Turkish government to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the treaty by declaring: “This decision risks compromising the protection and fundamental rights of women and girls in Turkey. It also sends a dangerous message across the world. We therefore cannot but urge Turkey to reverse its decision. We hope that Turkey will soon join again the European Union in defending the rights of women and girls, a fundamental element of human rights, peace, security, and equality in the 21st century.

A unsurprising move

Turkey’s insistence on sticking to old-fashioned mindsets and understanding of gender roles, rather than implementing key changes, fuels toxic masculinity and nurtures violence against women. There is a shortage of reliable political and judicial administration to enforce for the protection of women, combined with systematic government propaganda that puts even more pressure on women in this patriarchal society.

Gender roles for women commonly include motherhood and faithfulness. As in other cultures, women are associated with motherhood characteristics. But Turkish culture requires them to devote themselves and fulfill their duties for their families and children, thus openly equating womanhood with motherhood.  

In 2014, Erdoğan also said in a speech that women and men could not be treated equally “because it goes against the laws of nature.” He simply disregarded and ignored women’s rights despite the legal tools that exist and of the laws that were passed by his own government. He and his cabinet members have increased their statements and imputations about women, ranging from abortion to having a career, over the years.

If a woman wants to work, according to Erdoğan, it means she is “a woman who rejects motherhood, who refrains from being around the house” and however successful her working life is, it is “deficient and incomplete”. When women are married and use the birth control pill, they are committing “treason.”

The political shaming, oppression, and constant statements about women, unfortunately, take away the joy out of their lives and possibly encourages the idea that women are worthless compared to men no matter what they do. In this context, Turkish women endeavor for surviving in an environment shaped and ruled by politicians who prioritize males and their needs and where women are not seen as equal partners in life. 

Femicides in Turkey: an endless problem?

The construction of such a discriminatory discourse and the difficulties it creates for women, lead to the devaluation of women in Turkey in terms of defending and protecting their rights, especially within legal institutions. In Turkey, women have been killed inhumanly, most of the time after extended torture. 

Losing the precious legal tool that constitutes the Istanbul Convention will have critical repercussions on their lives. Even before and after the ratification of the Convention, barbarous femicides happened in Turkey. Domestic violence is a grave problem in Turkey with reports revealing that “90% of Turkish women [are] experiencing violence at the hands of their husbands and boyfriends.”

A monstrous example most common in the East of Turkey was the case of Güldünya Tören. She was raped by a relative and then got pregnant. Later, she was killed by a family decision, in 2004 because her pregnancy was compromising the family’s honor.

The killing of women and girls happens when a woman allegedly steps outside her socially designated role, particularly, but not only, with regard to her sexuality and to her interaction with men outside her family. The notion of “honor” forms part of a whole system based on a code of behavior imposed on women and girls. 

In this system, a man’s honor is perceived to be his status as a member of the community (şeref) or as defined by the chastity of his female family members (namus). A threat to the namus encourages the man to act in defense of their “honor.” When namus has been lost by unchaste conduct, it can only be restored by killing its offender.  

Because of this behavior code; getting a divorce – or even asking for ome – is another reason for femicide. As a Kurdish woman born and raised in Turkey, I have witnessed this violence myself, as Gamze Gezeroğlu, my own cousin, was stabbed 12 times and killed by her husband just because she wanted to get divorced, in 2011.

Even after divorce, women are under threat. This was the case of Emine Bulut, whose ex-husband killed her in front of her 10-year-old daughter at a cafe. A video posted on social media showed the mother screaming “I do not want to die” and holding her neck as her 10-year-old daughter begged her not to die.

Women think twice before starting a relationship, starting a job, or even going out because they witness inhumane murders by strangers, stalkers, bosses, and boyfriends. A murder by a stranger: Özgecan Aslan, who was beaten, stabbed, and burned to death by a bus driver just because she resisted rape, in 2015. Her death shocked the public and in a way proved that violence against women does not necessarily need a bond. Activists demanded the Turkish government to pass an “Özgecan Aslan law”, which would prohibit judges from reducing a man’s sentence for having been “provoked” into the murder of a woman.  Unfortunately, this request has not been approved yet. 

Turkey has been plagued by countless gruesome similar stories where women have been victims of men’s violence. From the murder of Pinar Gültekin, to that of Münevver Karabulut and Şule Çet, femicides have sparked protests initiated by organizations such as the We Will Stop Femicide platform and support on social media for the victims’ families, both in Turkey and internationally.

Since Turkey does not keep official statistics on femicide and does not release any regular data about the murders of women, most statistics come from human rights NGOs that jointly try to collect data. According to Bianet’s data, from 2014 to 2020, at least 1.983 women were killed in Turkey.

Is Turkey giving up on women’s rights?

The İstanbul Convention was critically important because it requires the force of a nation to achieve real gender equality, and it sets the standards for the member countries. It aims for a zero-tolerance approach against violence against women and domestic violence. 

With this Treaty, the statement of the plaintiff is essential and, if there is a proven violence threat, authorities must ensure that violence will be prevented before it escalates. The prevention of violence against women has the strength to save lives and to improve the condition of life.

Finally, the Convention launched Grevio, an objective expert committee, whose sole mission is to monitor the legal necessities and adaptations of its governing members. The European Court of Human Rights, as the overarching legal guider, then supervises the implementation of the Convention in the member states.20 
Consequently, withdrawing from the Convention is like losing one of the few legal shields that protect women in Turkey. Still the decision confronts resistance from the public. Women gather for demonstrations to reverse this decision. They truly cannot stand losing one more of them. May they never walk alone.


Picture text translation: “We cannot stand losing one more of us”

Picture Credits: Melike Yavuz (@melikeyphotography) – 25/11/2020

Behind the scenes: meet the Euroculture Staff – Lars Klein

Interview conducted by Johanna Pieper & Paola Gosio

Dr. Lars Klein has been part of the Euroculture staff since 2008. He is currently the Euroculture course-coordinator in Göttingen and his academic interests lie in (European) identity, belonging and participation, and foreign policy, amongst others. By participating in his teaching modules “Introduction to Euroculture”, “Cultural Construction of Europe” and “Europe in a Global Context”, Euroculture students in Göttingen have the opportunity to learn more about the aforementioned research fields. You can contact Lars via the following email: lklein@uni-goettingen.de.

Euroculturer Magazine ‘EM): What were your expectations when you started your job position as professor or coordinator and does it match the reality?

Lars Klein (LK): I started with Euroculture in April 2008. Some of my Ph.D. colleagues in the Graduate Programme (“DFG-Graduiertenkolleg”) I had pursued prior to that had done Euroculture while it was still a 60 ECTS programme, some of the academic staff were also contributing to Euroculture then. So I had an idea of what to expect, but Euroculture in Göttingen was in a transition at that time. Our Director, Martin Tamcke, had just taken over a few months earlier and started a completely new team with me and Marc Arwed Rutke, our coordinator. Having said that, I never would have expected to enter a job that would take on such a big part of my life and which I would still be working in 13 years later. And I certainly would not have imagined that the daily work with students and colleagues in the Consortium would be such a lively, fruitful and diverse endeavour.

EM: What is your academic background and can you tell us about your previous job experience before starting to work for Euroculture?

Continue reading “Behind the scenes: meet the Euroculture Staff – Lars Klein”