Agricultural women’s cooperative in Tatvan

In Tatvan, women who returned to their villages evicted in the 1990s set up an agricultural cooperative.

In the district of Tatvan in the northern Kurdistan province of Bitlis there is an agricultural cooperative in which women from the villages of Solî, Çorsin, Şahmanis, Avetax and Ûnsûs work collectively.

The villages were evicted by the Turkish state in the 1990s, but some of the residents have returned. The cooperative was founded in 2009 by three women, now 40 women have joined the collective production of chickpeas, beans and honey.

When founding the cooperative, state loans were deliberately avoided. As Gürgün Karabey explains, the goal is to provide economic independence for women from the region.

The products are offered for sale at stalls along the road between Tatvan and Van. Meanwhile there is also a website through which orders can be placed. The profit is shared among the members of the cooperative.