I will grow in ways that you can see, but cannot measure…

November 26, 2012

3

How can I get ‘eating different foods,’ ‘travelling abroad without your husband,’ ‘teaching with hardly any common language,’ to be added to any of those measurement scales for how well your social endeavor is doing? I don’t know but I know that last week, one of our main ladies grew as an independent individual in […]

A cooperation of a different dimension…

September 18, 2012

1

Some months back, we were contacted about the prospects of cooperating with a project in Moldova, under a poverty eradication program. Not too long afterwards, Jens from the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation in Budapest and Ludmila from Keystone Human Services in Chisinau came to Ayvalik to assess the feasibility of working together. What follows is the […]

Posted in: Ayvalik, cop (m)adam

Time to stop playing around! Or is it?

September 12, 2012

2

The garbage ladies have some catching up to do! It’s been a very busy summer and autumn, so far, is pretty as well, but there are a few more windows of time, in part as there is a bit less swimming going on now… ‘Best practices’ is a phrase I used to look out for, […]

Posted in: Ayvalik, cop (m)adam

From ‘they like my tea’ to training in Moldova

July 4, 2012

2

Mesude – not her real name but her mother’s name – is one of the reasons I put çöp(m)adam together in the first place, one of the reasons we have come this far, and proof that people will supersede your expectations given an opportunity and some respect. Before setting up this endeavor, I overheard Mesude […]

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Sometimes we make exceptions…

May 29, 2012

1

Su – not her real name, but a name she likes – is one of our exceptions to the first criteria to work for The Garbage Ladies: that you cannot have worked for salary before. She in fact is retired, having worked for 25 years. She is also separated. We make exceptions for women who […]

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Introducing Filiz, who will never, ever whistle at night

May 2, 2012

1

I would like to introduce you to Filiz, not her name, but one she would have liked to be called. Her grandparents came to Ayvalik from the Greek island of Lesvos, during one of the population exchanges between the two countries. Here in Ayvalik, her great grandfather worked in an olive oil factory, but in […]

Presenting ‘Zeyno,’ another of our ladies

April 11, 2012

1

We would like to introduce you to Zeyno – not her real name but the name she would like to have been known by. Zeyno comes to our workshop most afternoons and despite plenty of issues from her home life that she carries with her, always has a great sense of humor and makes the […]

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Our ladies would like to speak with you

March 20, 2012

8

Enough about me, for a while anyhow, it is high time for some of our ladies to tell a bit about themselves! I am proud to present Handan – not her real name, but a name that she likes. ‘I can’t make the wrapper bags that most of the other women make; I can’t crochet […]

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The need for a good role model: you

March 7, 2012

3

I happened upon the women’s movement rather by default. Years ago, a young Turkish colleague mentioned that she admired me as she learned so much from me. When I asked her just what she meant by that, she said, ‘you walk home in the evenings by yourself.’ I never thought that would be a reason to […]

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The kindness of strangers

February 22, 2012

2

It wasn’t only that I like the idea of wintering in the tropics. I felt a need to be totally removed from life as I know it, for personal and professional reasons. It wasn’t an escape as much as a desire for completely different surroundings, wanting to lose myself in another culture. I wanted different […]

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