A total of 32 women fell victim to femicide in Turkey in May, the Bianet news website reported.
The number of femicide victims has increased nearly twofold over May 2021. One of the women who were killed was Syrian, while the other was from Afghanistan. At least five of the femicide victims had obtained restraining orders against their murderers. Two women had requested restraining orders but were not granted them.
Most of the women were murdered by an ex-partner, while 12 were killed for wanting to separate. Similar to previous months, most women died in their homes.
According to reports at least four women filed complaints of rape, while 11 complained of sexual harassment. Additionally 65 women — some of whom were minors — were forced to work in prostitution.
Femicides and violence against women are serious problems in Turkey, where women are killed, raped or beaten every day. 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.
According to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform (Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu), 280 women were murdered in Turkey in 2021.
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 signature of member countries of the Council of Europe in 2011.
Since Turkey’s withdrawal from the treaty, Turkish authorities have been pressuring women’s rights organizations for their activist work. In April authorities started the legal process to close down the We Will Stop Femicide Platform for “illegal and immoral activities” and “damaging the Turkish family structure.”
Women’s rights activists from the Diyarbakır-based Rosa Women’s Association were detained in March. Journalist Nurcan Yalcin was handed down a seven month, 22 day prison sentence for her membership in Rosa in November 2021.
Despite the pressure organizations have said they would continue monitoring violence and femicide in the country.