01/25/2024 - 13:46

On November 23, we held the fifth of the experience sharing meetings where Haklara Destek organizations shared “best examples” of their own work on humanitarian aid activities. Kırkayak Culture, Art, and Nature Association (Kırkayak Kültür), Mardin Joint Women’s Cooperation Association (Mardin Ortak Kadın İşbirliği Derneği, Mokid) and Pembe Hayat LGBTI+ Solidarity Association (Pembe Hayat LGBTI+ Dayanışma Derneği) shared their experiences in providing humanitarian aid as rights-based organizations.

Kemal Vural Tarlan from Kırkayak Kültür after stating that the association was founded to carry out cultural activities, added that they started to provide rights-based humanitarian aid in line with the needs and demands of the neighborhood in which they operate. He explained that they try to “defend life” through culture and arts. Underlining that humanitarian aid should be carried out together with advocacy activities, Tarlan said that they do readings on the rights-based nature of humanitarian aid and conduct regular needs analyses. Tarlan also said that they have been in solidarity with the Syrian Doms in Kırkayak neighborhood since the very beginning and that Kırkayak has supported about 3000 families since the earthquake.

Hülya Çelebioğlu from Mardin Joint Women's Cooperation Association (Mardin Ortak Kadın İşbirliği Derneği, Mokid) explained that although Mardin was not an earthquake zone, it was declared an earthquake zone after the earthquake due to the migration it received. She added that about 20000-30000 thousand people have come to Mardin after the earthquake. She talked about their activities and stated that they distributed hot meals to tens of thousands of people for a month. She also shared that they maintained communication with the people whom they provided humanitarian aid and she added that they continue to provide support to them. She also emphasized the importance of social workers in accessing those in need. Çelebioğlu explained that they try to continue providing social, legal, and economic support to different disadvantaged groups, especially women, in line with people’s differentiating needs. She also provided examples as to how these supports, especially food aid, are collectively acquired.

Evrim Demirtaş from Pink Life LGBTI+ Solidarity Association (Pembe Hayat LGBTI+ Dayanışma Derneği) talked about Dilek İnce Clothing Bank, which provides clothing support to LGBTI+ people and prisoners in many cities in Turkey (especially in the case of prisoners through the lawyer network, CISST, and correspondence). Demirtaş explained that they prioritize rights-based work and noted that this perspective is sometimes overlooked in the field of humanitarian aid. She talked about the growth of this kind of support, which was entirely based on donations, after the earthquake. She stated that after the earthquake they were able to quickly get organized with Ankara Lubunya Solidarity and explained that they owe their swift response in terms of providing of legal support and clothing to this solidarity.