This year, our book is entitled, “Who’s to Blame?”
We aren’t posing this question with the intent of making anyone feel guilty. Our objective here is just to share with everyone the questions that we formulated from our thoughts and feelings as we conducted in-depth work regarding “killings committed under the guise of ‘honor’.”
A woman who worked with us on this project expressed her thoughts on this matter with the following words: “Sometimes, when we look back at the things we have done, we feel regretful. ‘If only...,’ we say. But then there’s the regret we feel because of things we didn’t do, and that’s something all together different, because we hadn’t realized the things that we could do.”
The fourth chapter of this book contains the stories of 31 women. At some point, each of these women found themselves on the verge of death, but they survived. And the reason they were able to survive was that they found a place where they could seek help. They managed to regain their lives. And now a new life awaits most of them. Who knows what kind of hardships they will experience yet. But at least they will keep breathing.
Then there’s the third chapter, the one containing the names of women who were unable to find support, and who consequently lost their lives. It is with all of these stories in mind that we pose the question: “Who’s to blame?”
The töre*, or social laws and customs, which are an extension of the sexist system that we live in, and which place impossible, increasingly high hurdles before women?
Or those who refuse to understand that töre laws and customs are a continuation of the current dominant world system, and who deride the woman question and alienate themselves from it, claiming that it is a question of the “other”?
The families that implement the dictates of töre, without questioning them?
Those who get enraged at these families?
Or those who forget that one must first look, see, and compare before one can grow curious, realize, and question, and for that, one first must hear, read, talk, and listen?
The young men who are given the duty, by their families, to kill women?
Those who order them to kill?
Those who refrain from taking any action even though they clearly see that a woman is beginning to be “tried”?
Or the society which, whether aware of it or not, pressures the family into punishing the woman?
Those who don’t even get birth certificates or identity cards issued for girls?
Those who don’t build schools, or those who only say “what’s the difference if girls study or not?” when there is a school to be attended?
Those who benefit from the countless blessings of our age, only to sustain their conservativism through control of women?
Those who hallow violence?
Or are we all to blame?
What do you say?