• Photo Virginia d'Umas

Photo Virginia d'Umas

Related articles

John Hardy, the history of successful jewelry
John Hardy, the history of successful jewelry

THE COMPANY John Hardy is the luxury handmade ...

read more
Marlene Dietrich, controversial destiny
Marlene Dietrich, controversial destiny

  Many of you certainly heard of Marlene ...

read more

The Inspiring Story of Pinar Selek: A Brave Turkish Woman Fighting for Justice

lifestyle & tra…famous biograph…

18 September 2023
0 Comments

In 1998 Pinar was falsely accused of complicity with terrorists believed to have caused a blast at the spice market in Istanbul. She has been forced to exile ever since. 

Pinar Selek is standing in front of me at av. Valrose, in Nice, where she works as aprofessor. She is dressed in a loose dark green cotton jumper, black tight jeans anda shiny golden watch. She wears her red-brown hair short and moves a lot when shetalks. Her energy lights up the room and you would never guess that this friendly looking middle aged woman has been through hell and back.

Everything started in July 1998: Pinar was a young and passionate researcher interviewing Kurdish militants at the popular spice market in Istanbul, when all of a sudden a huge blast turned everything black. 7 people died and 127 got injured.Pinar was arrested and refused to give the Turkish police the name of the militants.She was tortured and accused of complicity with the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party. She spent two and a half years in prison for complicity in a terrorist attack. The Turkish police falsified documents showing her culpability. Later it came out that itwas all just an accident, due to a gas leak. But the government has made it itsmission to hunt Pinar ever since. 25 years have passed and although she got acquitted four times, she is still forced to stay in exile, because if she ever steps foot again in Turkey she will be imprisoned for life. 

What Drives a Person to Dedicate Their Life to Research and Social Justice?

Pinar left Turkey 14 years ago for Berlin, thinking that this was all one bigmisunderstanding which would get resolved soon... but she was wrong. Eventuallyshe left Germany and moved to France 11 years ago, where she is now a researcherand University professor for the Department of Sociology and Demography. Herstudies focus on mondialization, mobility and migration. She is also a very prolificwriter of poetry, fairy tales and novels. "We must be strong in emotion and creation.We are not robots, who only make one thing at the time. I think life is complex andtherefore we must be complex," says Pinar.On top of her academic career, Miss Selek is also a militant feminist, ecologist andactivist. She helps create relations between different minority groups like Armenians,Kurds, the LGBTQ community and feminists. Since her imprisonment, her family made it their mission to support her and get her out of this unfair situation the Turkish government put her in. Her father is a 93-year old lawyer, who is still actively workingin defending imprisoned journalists and her sister was an economist until Pinar got jailed and she decided to become a lawyer in order to help her.

Examining Turkey's Fractured Opposition Parties

To understand why this happened to Miss Selek, we have to take a closer look at Turkey's political landscape. A heavily militarized society, mainly formed by paramilitary groups, took on an important dimension 20 years ago.

"Opening my case is one little paragraph on the new politics of Turkey", says Pinar with hope inher bright brown eyes. When she got arrested there was a pattern of the government accusing artists and journalists of killings, they wanted to keep control of their people and didn't like free thinkers. Their dream was to go back to their glory of the Ottoman Empire. The government was split in two groups, both religious sects: one was more with Qatar and the other one with Saudi Arabia. The US supported the group wanting to prevent a putsch, but it happened anyway, making the alliances change.Turkey got closer to Moscow, since Russia warned Turkey of the coup 20h before it happened. This created more chaos in an already unstable society, causing the emergence of an extreme right party, called the ‘Grey Wolves'. This violent group was involved in various killings of left-wing and liberal activists, intellectuals, Kurdsand journalists, becoming a proper death squad.

Nevertheless, Pinar is not intimidated by this corrupt government and bravely stands up for herself. She said: "I am one woman against one big state, but I'll manage". 

Article by Virginia D'Umas 

Comments (0)

Do you have something to say?

Editor's Pick

Streetwear Generation: will sneakers replace stilettos for good?
Streetwear Generation: will sneakers replace stilettos for good?

Streetwear Generation: will sneakers replace stilettos for good? ...

read more ›

Trends

Zuhair Murad Spring/Summer 15 lookbook
Zuhair Murad Spring/Summer 15 lookbook

For the Spring Summer 2015, haute couture house Zuhair Murad makes a step towards a more ...

read more ›
Rock ’n’ Roll for John Richmond Spring 2015
Rock ’n’ Roll for John Richmond Spring 2015

Rock 'n' Roll is the refferance word for John Richmond Spring 2015 fashion collection.  It is ...

read more ›

Editorial

The top 7 types of women on Facebook
The top 7 types of women on Facebook

Women on Facebook, lots of them, squirreling, scrolling, drooling! I like women who share things on Facebook ...

read more ›
American vs French brand culture at TFWA Cannes
American vs French brand culture at TFWA Cannes

This year 30th edition of Duty Free & Travel Retail Global Summit (TFWA) at Cannes is a ...

read more ›