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In a contribution to the fight against violence against women in Turkey, the Ankara State Opera, with UNFPA support, staged “Women of the Opera”, a concert of arias featuring women exposed to violence and abuse in the world of opera, on 17 March in the Turkish capital.

“The world of opera is full of women’s stories. Some have happy endings, but most of them are about women suffering from different forms of violence and abuse,” said Meltem Agduk, UNFPA’s Gender Programme Coordinator in Turkey.

“From this perspective, the elite world of the opera is not so different from what we see in our own daily lives: Tosca and Carmen are not unlike Ayse and Fatima,” she explained, with reference to two famous opera figures featured in the performance and two of the most common women’s names in Turkey.

The concert was performed by opera singer Figen Ayhan Kocakaya and the State Opera’s orchestra and ballet. The audience included Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin, several members of parliament and representatives of non-governmental organisations.