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Sirin-Ahmet Tekeli Foundation to Support Women Lawyers

We, Ahmet Tekeli and I had a long marriage. We met at Lausanne University in 1964, while he was studying law and I was a newcomer in the political science department. He was more than a good student; as a person who had passion in law he spent many days a week in the archives of the Tribunal Fédéral which was situated in Lausanne. He was graduated in 1965 and returned back to Turkey to prepare his admission to the bar.  We got married in 1966 and I continued my studies in Lausanne for two years more. Meanwhile he became a lawyer registered to the Bar of Istanbul (1966) and started to work as an assistant in the office of the most prominent specialist of international business law of those days: Rasim Cenani. Among the cases that the office worked on were Sheraton and Swiss Hotel (tourism), Glaxo and Servier (pharmaceuticals), Ford and Goodyear (automotive) and Tetra Pack etc.

He believed in law and it was his life’s ultimate aim. His approach to the practice of his profession was special: instead of bringing cases into the courts, he tried to promote dialogue, debate and different means of arbitration among his clients.

I became assistant at the University of Istanbul after I graduated in 1967; I became professor after defending a thesis titled “Women’s Political Participation- A Comparative Study” in 1979 (published in 1982). After I resigned from the university because of the anti-democratic law that the military adopted in 1981, I spent the rest of my life as an activist in the women’s movement.

We, Ahmet and I did not agree on everything: politics divided us a lot; he liked football, I liked opera etc. However, there was one issue that we shared and venerated both: law, justice and women’s equal rights in every field.

This explains why, after his death in 2010, I decided to create a foundation with the money he left, dedicated to support women lawyers (students, assistant lawyers, researchers working on women’s issues etc.). We will support them with grants and scholarships.

Anybody who finds this project promising can join us.
Sirin Tekeli

Şirin-Ahmet Tekeli Kadın Hukukçuları Destekleme Vakfı © 2013