Strong Women of Strong Turkey, an event organized by Turkuvaz Media Group, brought together women who spoke about their experience of being successful in their own fields. From artists to activists and athletes, women shared their success stories at the Istanbul event held ahead of March 8, which is International Women's Day.
Melis Gürkaynak, a middle blocker for the Vakıfbank volleyball team which boasts multiple world titles, said she was proud to be a member of a women's team "which succeeded in what others didn't believe that we would do." "Discipline, bravery and determination not to give up is in the spirit of being a woman and in the spirit of sports," Gürkaynak said.
Songül Paksoy, the only female coach in football club Adana Demir Spor's history, said that women were attributed to gender-based roles rather than an emphasis on their role in sports. "We create places for ourselves in sports with our own struggle," she said. Olympic swimmer Nida Eliz Üstündağ said that they were determined to make their names known in the sports as women. Accomplished gymnast Tutya Yılmaz said it was a dream for her to compete in international events but she succeeded. "Women are already strong and successful and are able to do whatever they want to accomplish once they have the will," she said.
Famous actress Hülya Koçyiğit spoke about the challenges of motherhood, being a mother of a daughter herself.
"I was very scared I wasn't going to be a good mother to her and I had to trust her to babysitters. I was upset and was even jealous of babysitters but I never gave up my career despite all the challenges," she said. Pop music diva Ajda Pekkan said she "needed to be strong" so she could sustain her own "brand" in music. "I have been at the top and was doomed to solitude there. It was a tiring task for me. Sometimes, I wish I could have been someone else. It is hard to keep the image you have the same [for decades]," the singer, who launched her music career in the 1960s, said.
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