280 women murdered in Turkey in 2021: report

There were 280 cases of femicide and 217 women died under suspicious circumstances in Turkey in 2021, according to a report by a women’s rights platform published on Tuesday, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported.

The We Will Stop Femicide Platform on Tuesday released its 2021 Annual Data Report.

Of 280 women murdered by men in 2021, 124 were killed by their husbands, 37 by boyfriends, 24 by acquaintances, 21 by ex-husbands, 16 by relatives, 13 by ex-boyfriends, 13 by fathers, 11 by sons, six by brothers, three by unidentified perpetrators and one by a stalker. No information could be obtained on the relationship between the woman and her killer in 11 cases of femicide, the report said.

The report indicated that the majority — 178 — of the femicides were committed in the home, with the remainder occurring in other various locations.

In its report the platform noted that in 33 cases of femicide in 2021, the victims had filed official complaints with the police or prosecutor’s office or had received protection orders from the courts.

The platform said the number of suspicious deaths had increased since the perpetrators sought to make their murders seem suspicious, knowing that the authorities would fail to do their job properly.

“In every suspicious death, we ask what really happened. But officials refuse to answer our questions. We will continue to ask these questions. We will not let any woman’s death remain suspicious. Officials must do their job to shed light on suspicious deaths,” the platform said.

Gender-based violence is a serious problem in Turkey. According to a report published earlier by Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a human rights defender and Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker, nearly 7,000 women have been victims of femicide during the 18 years that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been in power.

Despite the alarming data, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a decree on March 20 withdrawing Turkey from the Council of Europe (CoE) Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, an international accord designed to protect women’s rights and prevent domestic violence in societies, sparking outrage in Turkey and the international community.

Turkey, the first member state to ratify the CoE convention, which was opened for signature in İstanbul during Turkey’s chairmanship of the organization 10 years ago, ironically has also become the first state to announce its withdrawal from it.

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