350 women, primarily academics, intellectuals and actors, have signed a petition calling for peace for their countries as tensions have flared up between Turkey and Greece due to energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
Among the Turkish women who signed the petition are actresses Jülide Kural and Füsun Demirel, writer Ayşe Kulin, writer and Duvar English columnist Ece Temelkuran and politician Binnaz Toprak. The petition was launched by women’s rights activist Gülseren Onanç and can be accessed on the website: www.womencallforpeace.net.
Greek and Turkish battleships have been gathering in the region since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered a research vessel to the Eastern Mediterranean to survey for gas and oil.
Greece says the seabed off the coast of Crete and other islands in the region are its own to exploit, a claim Turkey has repeatedly refused, saying the islands are not entitled to what is known as an exclusive economic zone.
“As women of Turkey and Greece, we are watching the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean that has been growing every day with concern. The tension that has been heightened by confrontational rhetoric and the increasing military presence of both sides in the region increases the risk of conflict,” said the women in their statement.
“The rhetoric of conflict and potential conflicts threaten not only the security of the citizens of both countries but also the entire region. As women, we are saying ‘stop’ to this dangerous acceleration.”