7 women fell victim to femicide in Turkey last week

A total of seven women were victims of femicide in various Turkish cities last week, according to data from the Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicide Platform), which has set up a “memorial counter” for women who were murdered by men.

According to the memorial counter, university student Hilal Sultan Kırgöz (21) died on September 24, 48 days after driving instructor Önder Lafçı (43) tried to kidnap her and shot her in the back in the western Turkish province of Manisa.

Emine Cin (34) died after her husband Levent Cin shot her in the street in İstanbul last Tuesday.

Zeynep Özgelen (36), a mother of two, was shot dead by her husband Muhammet Özgelen in İstanbul on Wednesday.

In central Kırklareli province, Songül Akbaş was shot dead by her husband Zeynel Abidin Akbaş on Wednesday. Akbaş’s 16-year-old daughter was injured when she jumped out of a window at the time of the incident.

İpek Kürşat (36), a mother of two, was shot in the neck by an unknown person while sitting on a park bench with a friend in Turkey’s western province of Çanakkale and died in the hospital on Thursday.

Fadime Çiftçi (65) was shot dead on Friday by her husband Yüksel Çiftçi (67) in İstanbul. Yüksel Çiftçi subsequently took his own life with the same weapon.

Nurhan İlhan (45) was hit on the head with a blunt object then then stabbed to death by one of her male relatives in eastern Mardin province on Sunday.

All the murder suspects were taken into custody, except for Yüksel Çiftçi, who died by suicide.

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 latest statistics from the We Will Stop Femicide Platform, 331 women have been murdered to date in Turkey in 2022.

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.

Despite the pressure, the organizations have said they would continue monitoring violence and femicide in the country.

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