34 women killed by men, 29 more died under suspicious circumstances in Turkey in June: report

Photo: Canva

Thirty-four women were murdered by men in Turkey in May, and 29 more died under suspicious circumstances, the Bianet news website reported.

Of the 34 women who were murdered, 29 were killed by their husbands or boyfriends, two by their neighbors and two by their sons-in-law.

At least 16 of the victims were murdered over their decisions concerning their own lives, such as asking for a divorce, rejecting reconciliation with a romantic partner and rejecting a marriage proposal or a romantic relationship.

In Mersin, Şule Özlem U.,40, was strangled by her boyfriend, identified as A.Y., 20.

In Gaziantep, Dibe Cevat, 30, was killed by her husband, identified as A.M.

In Aydın, 50-year-old Nursel T. was beaten to death by her husband, identified as M.T.

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 193 women were murdered by men and 149 women died under suspicious circumstances in the first half of 2024.

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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