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Welcome to Hollaback! Istanbul
We are an organization with two major beliefs.
1- Every single person, regardless of age, gender, orientation, or
form of dress deserves the basic human right of being able to walk
the streets without fear, free from harassment of any form, including
physical or verbal. People are NOT objects, and no one has the right
to treat them as such, especially in public spaces.
2- The culture of harassment can be ended. The use of mobile
technology and connectivity allows everyone to share their story,
photos, and even video, and can affect a crowd-sourced cultural
change. Through these messages, we can break the silence and send the
message that any form of harassment is unacceptable.
Hollaback! Istanbul is building an online and offline community to combat harassment, a community where everyone can help, share, advise, support, and learn. Now that you’re here, why not help us in our mission; browse the stories, check out our resources, and raise awareness by sharing your own stories.
With your help, we have the power to end the culture of harassment!
There is nothing ‘casual’ about unwanted groping.
For the past year, I have been living in the extraordinary city of Istanbul, the city that sprawls across two continents and is home to one of the most beautiful skylines in the world.As a 24 year old western female, I am, however, unfortunately pre disposed to experience another more seedy side to the city and its culture.
Sexual harassment is endemic in Istanbul. The vast majority of my female expat friends here have complained about being inappropriately touched, not to mention enduring endless predatory stares and persistent sexual invitations. I have lost track of the angry rants we’ve had over tea and baklava, about this so-called ‘casual groping’.The scariest thing is that, due to the scale of the situation, both men and women have come to accept this behaviour as commonplace.
The situation is worsened by Istanbul’s overwhelming population. It becomes immediately evident the moment you set foot in to one of the bustling bazaars, or takepublic transport around the city. Getting a seat on a bus is a luxury, and breathing space on a busy tram is a privilege few are granted.Of course, this is all part and parcel of the city, and the travelling experience itself.
But busy areas are a playground for those looking for a good grope.
When you realise, whilst crammed on rush hour public transport, that what your thought was someone’s shopping bag poking your leg is actually an erection, (sometimes accompanied by a suggestive grin)…it becomes whole lot less enjoyable.
Despite being undoubtedly fed by sexual oppression, this type of harassment isn’t solely carried out through carnal desire. It derives from gender inequality, and the way women are often objectified and ‘owned’ by men.
We, as women often feel victimised by being inappropriately touched, yet rarely react, rather keep quiet and hope the journey is over quickly. In turn, this acts as a green light for the men doing the groping.
The high rate of sexual harassment on a ‘minor’ level, and its repeated acceptance, has led to a culture that wallows in tolerance of these violations.
Istanbul would not be the city it is without the hustle and bustle; its chaos defines it and makes it memorable to those who visit. But this should not come hand in hand with someone making sexual gestures at you on the bus to work or trying to grope your crotch whilst you buy Turkish Delight at your local bazaar.
This habit of sexual pestering should be aggressively tackled, or Istanbul’s reputation of a magnificent, historical city risks being preceded by one of wandering hands and leering eyes.
Check out Canimiz Sokakta Kacie Kocher at the Tedx Reset this April in Istanbul, speaking on gender, choice, and the role of foreigners. Watch it, tweet it, share it. All of us at Canimiz Sokakta are super proud!
Check it out 10- 10:30 Istanbul time Saturday April 13! Livestream here
It’s finally April! We are promoting Anti-Street Harassment Awareness this month! All around the world, men and women will raise their voices against street harassment! Check out some great anti-harassment messages here, and get i
nvolved! Be a part of this movement by joining the international Hollaback! Tumblr campaign; write down your message, take a picture of it and send it to Istanbul@ihollaback.org.
Did you miss this earlier this year? We made it in the international Hollaback’s “A Week in Our Shoes” where the international Hollaback, where they highlight groundbreaking accomplishments for their sites around the world. What did we do you ask? Programs Director Ezgi Cincin joined journalist Alyson Neel to discuss street harassment on Ahaber. Watch the video here.
We’re pleased to announce that Hollaback! Istanbul / Canimiz Sokakta founder, Kacie Lyn Kocher, is speaking at the Tedx Reset Lecture “Do We Really Choose” on April 13th, 2013. There’s still tickets available here, or watch the livestream here. Congratulations, Kacie!