Samandağ Purple Solidarity: We are opening our new feminist space!

Solidaritätszelt in Samandag

ANNOUNCEMENT: Step by step our struggle for permanent and empowering places for women continues. After the earthquake, solidarity tents where the place of collective struggle where women rebuilt their lives. Now, we are growing even further: On July 15th, we are opening our Purple Solidarity women’s association house in Samandağ/Hatay!

On the morning of the 6th February earthquake, we awoke to a situation that turned a disaster into a catastrophe. From that moment on our solidarity grew stronger and stronger. On our way to our sisters, we found each other on the roads and discovered paths leading to hope that arouse from and beyond the rubble. 

Our women’s solidarity started with meeting basic needs from the first day. It grew from neighbourhood to neighbourhood. As the weeks passed after the earthquake, it reached the organised power of women who strengthened each other and struggled together to rebuild life and the city. It is with this organization and effort that we are opening our feminist spaces that will serve as collective places for our everyday struggles and the fight against the male-dominated capitalist order. 

During the aftermath of the earthquakes gender inequality moved from the houses into tents as well. Women were even more prone to the triangle of harassment, rape and violence. We all experienced that the earthquake affected women more. Poverty and the lack vital needs such as shelter and access to clean water continued. However, we also saw once again how women’s solidarity and organised struggle in unsafe and dangerous areas make us stronger. It showed, that we are the main subjects of the process we call re-building or building anew. We felt and made other women feel our solidarity by holding their hands, combing their hair and responding to their voices. The solidarity between us was this concrete!

In the Hatay region, we started with our women’s solidarity tents in three districts. Women’s solidarity tents became a helping hand reaching out to women when they could not access menstrual and hygiene products and did not feel safe. Thousands of women who sent trucks and volunteered in the region became a part of this solidarity network. 

We know: Solidarity does not only mean meeting basic needs. We also learnt how to rebuild each other. Through various workshops, we succeeded in strengthening and healing together. Our collective effort now leads to our association house in Samandağ.

With this, our work to make safe spaces for women permanent is going a big step forward. We continue with many activities, from co-production to personal care, from sharing knowledge to film analyses.

On Saturday 15th July, we are opening our association house in Samandağ together with women from other provinces of Turkey. We are also calling for you to join and be a part of our struggle, wherever you are, whatever you can contribute!