I have been searching for a network and community to fill the void that grew after I graduated from Scripps. I have many wonderful women in my life, however I miss the constant dialogue and discussions that would constantly emerge when I was surrounded by smart, outspoken and politically minded women. I have found this community and dialogue once again at Amargi.
I just started going to an English discussion group sponsored by a women’s rights organization called Amargi. They are located in an old apartment directly off Istiklal Cadessi, the pedestrian-only street in the center of the modern city. The offices are nestled in the back, and the centerpiece of the space to gather for discussions, events, planning and seminars. The English conversations are organized by their intern, and invites members of any English-level to come and engage in discussions and debates about feminist issues. We use TED lectures, a variety of articles and personal stories to initiate discussion and enhance the vocabulary and comfort of the non-native English speakers in attendance. We sit at tables and sip tea, while discussing the incarceration of journalists, the complete disregard for environmental preservation in the face of development and what it means to be a Feminist in Turkey, and in the Middle East. I leave stimulated and energized. The discussions give me a window into current events and political discourse in Turkey, and the perspective of progressive, politically minded women in Istanbul. I love it!