by Zeynep Cermen
ISTANBUL Turkey (Xinhua) -- A TV
channel dedicated to women was launched recently in Istanbul
amid a gloomy picture for the second sex in Turkey, with a
pledge to be "the rising voice of women from every segment of
society and in every field of life."
As the country’s
first, Woman TV seeks to become a new platform for women to
freely discuss a wide range of issues with experts and get
informed, said Ahu Ozyurt, editor-in-chief of the broadcaster.
For Ozyurt, the timing of the channel’s launch is right at
the moment when women’s voices need to be heard in a more
specific way not only in Turkey but also across the globe.
A woman in Turkey is usually associated with a never-dropping
rate of violence, including sexual assault, homicide, as well as
inequality in society.
According to womenhomicide.com, a total of 363 women have
been murdered by their male partners, husbands or family members
across Turkey this year, while 86 percent of the females have
encountered physical or psychological violence once in their
"We see Turkish media outlets give less and less airtime to
successful women, female opinion leaders, women’s health issue
and children issues," Ozyurt told Xinhua.
"We see women are becoming less and less visible on
mainstream televisions," she continued.
"There was a huge need for an expert channel on women
In her view, Turkish women love watching TV, but there are
not many channels catering to them.
Ozyurt believes that women should have more options, like
being able to keep a favorite channel open all the time in their
Woman TV is on the air for eight hours daily for the moment,
starting with programs on the health of women and children.
"We attribute significant importance to health issues, as we
think it is where the notion of families starts," explained
In the afternoon, the channel turns to political and social
issues, including the growing violence against women and other
annoyances in their everyday life.
"Later in the day, we deal with more stylish issues like
makeup, hair and fashion with a little bit of fun and shows,"
As the producer of the channel’s "Woman’s Agenda" program,
Ebru Gungor discusses with experts various social topics related
to women, including divorce, violence and underrepresentation in
"Of course the major issue of our program is violence against
women, which is the core problem of our society," she said.
"There are too many victims who do not know what to do or
where to go in case of such an experience."
Women can join the program to share their bitter experiences
and ask for assistance or protection from the authorities.
According to the editor-in-chief, the target audience is
women from the growing middle class.
"We also have the tendency to appeal to the conservative and
upper-middle-class women," said Ozyurt.
"But at least, we want to make all watch and see something
familiar to themselves, like food, nutrition or a health issue,"
"If we keep them watching 15 minutes, it is a good start for
Ozyurt is hoping for her channel to grow beyond the border to
go on the air in other countries one day, including in
In the view of Mine Kara, a university student, it is very
important for Turkey to have such a TV channel dedicated to
"I hope it could reach the most suppressed women in our
society and be their voice as well," she said.