Published On: Mon, Mar 8th, 2021

Turkish Women’s Council Association Honors Anatolian ‘Queen Of Peace’ As Global Symbol Of Solidarity

By Janet Ekstract

UNITED NATIONS (TURKISH JOURNAL) – The Turkish Women’s Council Association (TKKD) in Turkey has a unique way to honor Women’s Day each year by celebrating the achievements of a well-known, successful Anatolian woman icon in history For 2021, they chose the Hittite Queen Puduhepa – the ‘Queen of Peace’ who created the first written peace treaty in the world, 33 centuries ago.

As well known Turkish human rights, womens’ rights lawyer and founder of the Adana branch of TKKD and its Mediterranean president Meryem Türktekin said, the association has declared the year 2021 as ‘’Puduhepa Promotion Year’ because Puduhepa represents a ‘’global symbol of solidarity.’’ She said Puduhepa’s symbol of peace and equality between men and women ‘’will contribute not only to our country but also to world peace; and I think it will create a spirit of solidarity among women of the world.’’

The human rights lawyer explained that ‘’a culture of respect for women’’ must be further developed within society and that by introducing women like Puduhepa, empowers girls and women to be successful in their future lives.

A main goal of the Turkish Women’s Council Association is to empower women in the national and international arena, combat discrimination against women and ensure gender equality. Türktekin explained that women’s struggle is a human rights struggle

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. A replica of the treaty still hangs on the wall in the UN Security Council ights struggle and that she considers it her highest calling to combat gender inequality and to support women’s rights and human rights.

She commented that ‘’Puduhepa Promotion Year’’ serves as a reminder that throughout history there were powerful women who sought to empower others as she did by creating the Kadesh Agreement, the oldest peace treaty in world history, carved in stone that is based on the principle of equality. It was Puduhepa’s treaty that was the key factor in ending the 16-year war between the Hittites and Egyptians. A replica of the treaty hangs in the United Nations Security Council and the original is on display at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.

The reason Puduhepa is inspiring is what led her to be successful – her personal determination and motto from childhood: ‘’I am Puduhepa, I will read while nobody knows, I will think like great people, I will overcome the obstacles in my way. The stars are my witnesses, my word is my word.’’ Puduhepa’s determination to become someone important is what makes her a symbol for girls and women worldwide.

Even though Meryem Türktekin is passionate about women’s rights, she explained that there are obstacles that must be surmounted before genuine equality exists for women. As she said: ‘’I’m sorry to say that I see there is not enough solidarity among women in the world.’’ She said that despite what appears to be women’s equality in laws worldwide including Turkey, that women still remain ‘’second class citizens in social life’’ in many societies. Türktekin cautioned that what she terms ‘’defacto equality’’ is not acceptable.

This famous defender of women’s rights and human rights believes that Puduhepa’s achievement in creating the Kadesh Agreement serves as inspiration for future generations of women and men. To that end, Türktekin and the association are involved in a multitude of joint projects and ventures to promote gender equality and human rights in Turkey and the world.

Ensuring gender equality in Turkey must be achieved through education and activities that promote awareness of the issue, Türktekin said. She explained that opportunities must be made available to balance “the value attributed to the roles of men and women, for women to exist in all areas of social life and to take part in decision-making bodies.”

Meryem Türktekin said she founded the Adana branch of TKKD after receiving a proposal from Turkey’s first elected female minister who served six terms – Dr. İmren Aykut. The Turkish Women’s Council Association which has no political affiliation, has been serving women for over 60 years with advisory status at the United Nations. The association is a principal member of the International Women’s Council and the Women’s Council of Europe with 22 branches and numerous representative offices.

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