4,179 women killed in 10 years: Family is protected, not women
4,179 women were killed by men in Turkey in the last 10 years, including the first four months of 2023.
Êlih (Batman)- 4,179 women were killed by men in Turkey in the last 10 years, including the first four months of 2023. 23 women were killed by men and 17 more died under suspicious circumstances in April, 2023, according to the report of Jinnews, women’s news agency based in Amed (Diyarbakır). 86 women were killed by men in the first four months of 2023, the report said. While the number of femicide cases is increasing day by day especially after the February 6 earthquakes, the Turkish courts keep reducing prison sentences against the killers by mitigating provisions, such as unjustified provocations and good conduct of perpetrators.
NuJINHA spoke to Sümeyye Gültekin, vice president of the Batman Bar Association Women's Rights Center, about the increasing femicide cases in Turkey. The Batman Bar Association Women’s Rights Center provides legal support to women survivors of violence and follow up the femicide cases in Batman province. Sümeyye Gültekin thinks the killings of women in Turkey persist because of ‘impunity’.
Special war policies
Pointing to the number of women who were killed in Batman in recent months, Sümeyye Gültekin said that two women were killed by men in the city in 20 days. “In recent years, Batman has been brought up due to the increasing femicide cases and special war policies, as it was in the 1990s. The femicide cases have been increasing in the city because no necessary measures have been taken to prevent violence against women. Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention and this encourages men to inflict violence against women and to kill women. The killings of women in Turkey persist because of impunity,” Sümeyye Gültekin said.
‘We follow up six femicide cases’
In Batman, five women have been killed by men and more women have died under suspicious circumstances in the last five months. Sümeyye Gültekin gave us information about the femicide cases followed up by the Batman Bar Association Women’s Rights Center. “As the center, we have followed up three femicide cases. On April 10, a woman was killed in Hasankey and we have followed up the investigation launched into this case. In March 2023, 29 women were killed by men and 19 more died under suspicious circumstances in Turkey. Unfortunately, these figures are quite frightening. As the center, we have been following up six femicide cases in Batman and across Turkey.”
‘Failure to implement the regulations legitimizes the murders’
Speaking about the causes of femicide, Sümeyye Gültekin said, “The ruling party has ignored the achievements of women and courts keep reducing prison sentences against the killers by mitigating provisions, such as unjustified provocations and good conduct of perpetrators. These cause the increase in femicide cases. The hate speeches, gender inequality, social roles and the attitude of the judiciary increase gender-based violence cases and femicide cases. The current laws protect the family, not women.”
After Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, the women living in Turkey have only Law No. 6284 to Protect Family and Prevent Violence against Women. However, the ruling AKP's ally HÜDA-PAR opposes the right to alimony, civil law, equality and women's right to life and demands the amendment of Law No. 6284. “They (HÜDA-PAR) aim to further strengthen the patriarchal mentality and to legitimize gender-based violence and killings of women. The patriarchal mentality says women must stay at home, do housework and take care of children. The patriarchal mentality causes the increase in femicide cases. In addition, the economic crisis and unemployment are also the causes of femicide. The laws protecting women from violence are not implemented and this paves the way for men to kill women,” Sümeyye Gültekin told NuJINHA.
Sümeyye Gültekin thinks gender-equitable education system, the active implementation of Law No. 6284, the re-ratification of the Istanbul Convention, the end of judicial impunity, support to the women’s shelters and organizations can prevent violence against women and femicide in the country.