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Social Justice

Dilek Demir - Neighborhood Head of Muradiye in Bağlar, Diyarbakır

Dilek Demir, who was a victim of forced early marriage and exposed to domestic violence, has been the neighborhood head of Muradiye in Bağlar, Diyarbakır for the last two terms. Dilek is the only female neighborhood head in central Diyarbakır, and she does her best to help everyone in her community beset with economic and social challenges.

When she started duty, the first thing she did was to put a public box in front of her office to reach out to people who struggle but shy away from articulating their problems — just like she used to. “People may not feel comfortable enough to tell you everything in person, so that’s why I hung this mailbox,” she says, adding that the letters delivered to this box helped her identify people in her neighborhood who were in financial trouble, who were forced to marry early, or young people with substance abuse problems. To this day, she has worked against the forced early marriages of 40 girls, preventing these marriages from happening by persuading their families.

In addition to her fight against child marriages, she also carries out important community work on substance abuse and humanitarian aid. “No girl should experience what I went through” she says. Leading the social transformation against the early marriage of girls, Dilek continues to make a difference in the lives of Muradiye locals in Bağlar, Diyarbakır.

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