A social evil infesting our harmonious society
19 years old university student, Ozgecan Aslan was killed 5 years ago, by a minibus driver who attempted to rape her on her way home. Following Aslan’s death, a petition demanding an end to reduce sentences for perpetrators of gender-based violence gathered more than 1 million signatures. Despite the protests and petitions, there was a considerable surge in femicides. The “we will end femicide platform”, a women’s rights group, said almost 2000 women have been killed since February 2015, often by husbands or boyfriends. In 2019, 474 women were stain in turkey. Women’s rights activists said the necessary legal tools for the protection of women against violence already exist. Turkey was the first country to ratify the council called the ” Istanbul Convention”. This council focused on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence. In 2011, a treaty was introduced specifically targeting violence against women. Law number 6248 which was passed to Protect the Family and Prevent Violence Against Women and introduced gender equality policies.
However, the problem is with the implementation of existing laws. The general attitude in society has not changed. Women are still urged to stay at home to serve and obey. In some cases, violence against women is still acceptable.” Ekin also mentioned that many kinds of violence against women weren’t even taken in consideration which includes psychological abuse or some different kind of degrading treatment. Measures stipulated by the Istanbul Convention, such as the provision of enough women’s shelters and rape crisis centres, were not being met, Ekin said. During a speech at an international women’s rights summit in 2014, Erdogan said women were not equal to men and that manual labour was not suitable for women because of their “delicate nature.” He has criticised women who chose work over having children as “half-persons” and equated abortion to “murder.” Numerous women’s rights NGOs were closed by emergency decree following the 2016 coup attempt. Despite mounting difficulties, the resolve of Turkey’s women’s rights activists has grown stronger and Ekin stressed that this yielded important successes. Due to close monitoring of femicide court cases by activists, courts rarely hand down reduced sentences for “unjust provocation,” a widespread practice until a few years ago. This is the result of our struggle and we will continue to fight for justice for women,” Ekin said.