Forced into marriage at the age of 15, Berivan Elif Kilic seems to be an unlikely candidate for politics. But the former child bride is now the newly elected mayor of Kocakoy, a farming town of 17,000 people in southeastern Turkey.
Until five years ago, Kilic suffered daily beatings by the man she was forced to marry. She divorced him at 28 and now is determined to fight for women’s rights. As mayor, she plans to organize workshops to inform women about their rights and to give some basic education to town women.“People believe me when I talk about domestic violence,” Kilic said. “I was beaten up myself; I don’t have my knowledge from books.”
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