19 March 2007
ESI on the Iranian border

As part of a comprehensive report on the changing position of women in Turkey which ESI is preparing, analyst Nigar Goksel was in the eastern province of Van, bordering Iran, between March 19th and 23rd.

Traditional and semi-feudal family structures, very high birth rates, proximity to over a decade of conflict in Southeast Anatolia, widespread poverty, and distance from Ankara make Van an especially interesting location to examine the extent to which reality is really changing for women in Turkey.

Map showing VAN province in south eastern Turkey

Nigar Göksel on lake Van

Ahdamar Church - officially re-opened with a special ceremony on March 29th 2007. The church is on an island on Lake Van.

Women of Van dressed in traditional garments for the Nevruz festival