WE KNOW PINAR SELEK
WE ARE IN SOLIDARITY WITH PINAR SELEK
One of the leading anti militarist-feminist, peace activists of Turkey, sociologist, researcher and writer Pınar Selek is tried to be brought to court again owing to a suit where she has already acquitted twice. Pınar Selek who has devoted her life to the marginalized and the oppressed, this time confronts the demand of life sentence by the 9th Penal Department of Court of Appeal.
Despite the court decision of acquittal she has been labeled as a “bomber” for 11 years and through all this time, she has never seized to work and share her production with the public.
Pınar Selek has shaped her private and working life according to the motto of “Living is the most important academic activity.” Born in 1971 in Istanbul, she graduated from Notre Dame de Sion French School and as the honor student from Department of Sociology at Mimar Sinan University. In 1996 her translation- selection titled Ya Basta-Artık Yeter [Enough] dealing with the indigenous movement of Mexico was published by Belge Publishing. Her Ma. thesis at the same university was published as Maskeler, Süvariler, Gacılar-Ülker Sokak: Bir Dışlanma Mekânı [Masks, Cavaliers, Gacis - Ülker Street: A Place of Marginalization] (1st edition: 2001, Aykırı Publishing, 2. edition: 2007, Istiklal Publishing).
The academic achievement of Pınar Selek relies heavily on her idealistic viewpoint of getting involved into the lives of her research subjects. In this respect she looked after the street children and transvestites after her thesis was long finalized and established with them “Street Artists Atelier”. Through this initiative both street children and transvestites got the chance of becoming integrated into the society with their works of art.
Pınar Selek was just about to finish her research about the consequences and effects of the civil war in Turkey which cost decades of the country, many peoples’ lives and so much grief, when she found herself surrounded by an conspiracy of having put a bomb to Spice Bazaar. She spent 2.5 years in prison and 11 years in the court rooms. While she was acquitted twice, she still had to counter attacks labeling and terrorizing her as a “bomber”. She fought with the single method she knew; namely by distillate knowledge, love and experiences from life. Within this period she wrote Barışamadık [We Couldn’t Reconcile] focusing on various difficult peace struggles of modern Turkey (2004, Ithaki Publishing) and Sürüne Sürüne Erkek Olmak [Leading a Dog’s Life: Masculinity] (2008, İletişim Publishing) taking up manhood within the context of military service experiences. She also has a book of tales called Su Damlası [Drop of Water], (2008, Özyürek Publishing).
Pınar Selek devoted her life to a moral attitude against war and to an active struggle against all kinds of violence without any pretext. She took part at numerous conferences, workshops and seminars about gender, militarism, violence, ecology, media, street children and marginalized groups. She also has articles about these issues published in various newspapers, magazines and journals.
In 2001 she became one of the founders of Amargi Women Co-Op and organized women meetings in Diyarbakır, İstanbul, Batman and Konya which took an important part of Turkey’s agenda. She is an active member of Amargi Women Co-Op and since 2006 she works as editor and coordinator of Amargi Feminist Journal. She is among the founders of Amargi Feminist Bookstore opened in 2008 and has acted as coordinator of women readers and writers meetings titled “Which Doors Do Our Experiences Open?” in this place which is also the first feminist bookstore in Turkey.
Within this long period of hard work more than 2000 people comprising of intellectuals including Orhan Pamuk and Yaşar Kemal, writers, movie and theater players, journalists, jurists, activists, academicians and of course women declared solidarity with Pınar Selek by stating that “We are witness to Pınar Selek’s attitude against violence*”. While Pınar Selek continues her legal struggle and academic work, also her supporters go on with their struggle, both encouraging and strengthening each other.
We once again declare our solidarity with her for we all know who Pınar Selek really is. We demand justice for Pınar Selek as well as a country where struggling for justice like Pınar Selek has done is imaginable and possible.
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“We stand by PINAR SELEK’s side
We, who have signed this declaration, are witnesses that Pinar Selek is a feminist and anti-militarist researcher, who has struggled against all sorts of violence. We believe that she has nothing to do with the accusations she has been faced many years in Turkey and request that her researches and works to be considered in the context of freedom of thought. Since these can never constitute a crime for us, we stand by Pinar Selek’s side.”
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