SF Kaktüs magazine, the first issue of which was published on May 1, 1988, was published bimonthly, a total of twelve issues until September 1990. Kaktüs is the first organization of socialist feminism in a publishing circle in Turkey.
In March 1987, the first feminist magazine Feminist began its publication life. While the campaign, which started with the March Against Beating in May 1987, continued, discussions on different feminisms and feminist theory also continued. Banu Paker, Gülnur Savran, Nalân Akdeniz, Nesrin Tura and Sedef Öztürk took part in the first editorial board of Kaktüs, which was published by women who defined themselves as socialist feminists in these years when the feminist movement was on the rise.
With the article “We are socialist feminists” in the first issue, they explained what socialist feminism was and why they called themselves socialist feminists, with concepts and titles such as the sexist system, the politics of the private, the independent movement and organization of women. The women around the magazine, who published Kaktüs and contributed with their articles and notes, were also the organizers and participants of the feminist struggle in those years.
All issues of the magazine, the last issue of which was published in September 1990, can be accessed here.
From the first issue:
Why are we publishing a magazine?
First, because we are women.
We are in a period when women’s issues are discussed more frequently, male dominance in society is being questioned, and moreover, this questioning brings up the clues of the struggle against a sexist system. Our magazine will be a magazine published by women who want to fight against their problems arising from being a woman in society.
We would like to tell you how we got to this point. We are women who have supported the different sides of the organization initiatives of women that came to the agenda after 1980, or who have more often made an effort to these initiatives (such as Somut [Concrete], Kadın Çevresi [Women’s Circle] entity and activities). Nevertheless, the main process that determined this entity developed in the “Solidarity Campaign Against Beating”, carried out by individual women and various women’s groups and feminists, especially in 1987, who were in favor of the “Independent Movement of Women”.
We, who published this magazine, made an effort for the possibility and principles of a common magazine to be published by all women, women’s groups and feminists in favor of the Independent Movement of Women, which was on the agenda before the Campaign. Although this discussion process did not create a common publication, we were able to jointly run a campaign that also included women who were parties to the above-mentioned debates.
We experienced an important experiment on the unity of women’s struggle on common grounds. How can we explain our need for a separate magazine in this period when the campaign has reached a certain stage? Why is the Sosyalist Feminist Kaktüs [Socialist Feminist Cactus] published?
It’s been a year and a half since the debate on releasing a common magazine.
During this period, those who perceive feminism and the women’s independent struggle differently, brought up the general and original aspects of women’s politics through their associations and magazines and they are still bringing up. As socialist feminist women, we have seen more clearly how we want to experience the Women’s Emancipation Movement and “Feminism” in this process. The dividing lines became clearer. “Kaktüs” will be a tool to discuss and develop with you where we stand in the Women’s Emancipation Movement, which we see as a combination of various “feminisms” and “Independent Struggle of Women”, and what kind of independent policy for women we aim.At this point, we think that SF Kaktüs will have an enriching function rather than dividing the movement.
We are not aiming for a theoretical magazine. To the extent that it sheds light on the current issues of women’s struggle, we will include theoretical discussions and quotations. We believe that women’s struggle is more possible by living politics as a part of our daily life. In “Kaktüs”, women’s struggles and feminist movements in other countries will also be featured. While these researches, interviews and testimonies underline the international partnerships regarding the subordinate position of women, we believe that international experiences will also offer us new issues of discussion.
If you, that is, women, find it meaningful to discuss with us on the basis of the understanding of “Independent Struggle of Women” and “Feminism”, which we are trying to catch the first clues and determine the framework of, and if we can achieve this, then these contributions and participations will be what feeds Kaktüs.
Whatever the reason for its publication, “Kaktüs” aims to do its part in establishing the Independent Movement of Women. In the process extending from today to the emancipation of women, we will be the advocate of solidarity and unity of struggle on common grounds, and we will strongly protect the principle that expressing politically every different position is considered legitimate in the women’s struggle. Hand in Hand for the Emancipation of Women!
Translator: Gülcan Ergün
Proof-reader: Müge Karahan