Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

THE 61-year-old lady, Üm­miye Koçak, is the founder of Arslanköy Women’s Theater Group. The group con­sists of ru­ral women from Anatolian vil­lages who act and per­form. The group will be putting up three plays at the Stutt­gart Euro­pean The­aters Fes­ti­val be­tween Nov. 16 and Dec. 8

THE ARSLANKÖY Women’s Theater Group, founded by vil­lage women in Turkey’s Mersin prov­ince, will take part in the Stutt­gart Euro­pean The­aters Fes­ti­val be­tween Nov. 16 and Dec. 8. with their plays ti­tled “Baba Ben Geldim “(“Fa­ther, I’m home”) and “Başardık” (“We Did It”).

In­tro­duc­ing women’s voices to the world through the Arslanköy Women’s Theater Group she founded in Mersin, Üm­miye Koçak, 61, who was also fea­tured with world-renowned foot­ball player Cris­tiano Ron­aldo in a com­mer­cial, will at­tend the Stutt­gart Euro­pean The­aters Fes­ti­val be­tween Nov. 16 and Dec. 18 in Ger­many along with her fe­male team.

Koçak spoke to the press and noted that the Arslanköy Women’s Theater Group, which con­sists of ru­ral women from Anatolian vil­lages, has seen wide­spread suc­cess.

Stat­ing that they have had the chance to at­tend many na­tional and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, she ex­pressed their plea­sure about rep­re­sent­ing Turkey at the Stutt­gart Euro­pean The­aters Fes­ti­val.

Stress­ing the im­por­tance of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, Koçak said: “The at­ti­tude that ru­ral women are in­ca­pable of do­ing many things is not unique to Turkey. You come across the idea all around the world. We broke taboos and are not fin­ished yet. As nine Anatolian women, we will go there and rep­re­sent Turkey.”

Koçak em­pha­sized that at­tend­ing the fes­ti­val will be ef­fec­tive in pro­mot­ing their suc­cess­ful plays and added: “Hav­ing al­ways dreamed of ven­tur­ing out­side the vil­lage, you sud­denly get the news that you will set off for Ger­many with your friends. It makes you feel fan­tas­tic; there are not enough words to de­scribe how ex­cited I am. There re­ally isn’t a word that de­scribes such hap­pi­ness. There will be more than 40 coun­tries at the fes­ti­val. We are so ex­cited. We founded the Arslanköy Women’s Theater Group 17 years ago. We blazed a trail.”

With the aim of in­tro­duc­ing their story to the four cor­ners of the world, the all-fe­male theater group is a stand­ing role model for women liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas.

“We want be good­will and cul­ture am­bas­sadors. I no­ticed that all the par­tic­i­pants over­dress at such or­ga­ni­za­tions. I think we will also rep­re­sent well-dressed Anatolian women there. Why don’t we serve as good­will and cul­ture am­bas­sadors? We are ready to go Africa and In­dia. We will per­form two plays in Ger­many. One of them is ‘Baba ben geldim’ [‘Fa­ther, I’m Home’], the other one is our own story. We re­ally did it atop the Taurus Moun­tains.”

Üm­miye Koçak with Chris­tiano Ron­aldo.

Arslanköy Women’s Theater Group will rep­re­sent Turkey at Stutt­gart Euro­pean The­aters Fes­ti­val.

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