31 women killed by men, 21 more died under suspicious circumstances in Turkey in January: report

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Thirty-one women were murdered by men in Turkey in January and 21 more died under suspicious circumstances, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Friday, citing the We Will End Femicide Platform.

Of the 31 women who were murdered, 11 were killed by their husbands and five by ex-husbands, the report said.

Five were murdered by current or former romantic partners, and six were killed by family members.

At least six of the victims were killed over their decisions concerning their own life, such as asking for a divorce, rejecting reconciliation with a romantic partner and rejecting a marriage proposal or a romantic relationship.

The majority of the women were killed in their homes, the report added.

Femicides and violence against women are chronic problems in Turkey, where women are killed, raped or beaten almost every day.

According to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform, at least 315 women were murdered by men and 248 women died under suspicious circumstances throughout 2023.

Many critics say the main reason behind the situation is the policies of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which protects violent and abusive men by granting them impunity.

Turkish courts have repeatedly drawn criticism due to their tendency to hand down lenient sentences to offenders, claiming that the crime was “motivated by passion” or by interpreting victims’ silence as consent.

In a move that attracted national and international outrage, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan through a presidential decree pulled the country out of an international treaty in March 2021 that requires governments to adopt legislation prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence and similar abuse as well as marital rape and female genital mutilation.

The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, is an international accord designed to protect women’s rights and prevent domestic violence in societies and was opened to the signature of Council of Europe member countries in 2011.

Erdoğan’s allies have been calling for further rollbacks, urging the repeal of a domestic law that stipulates protection mechanisms for women who either have suffered or are at risk of suffering violence.

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