97,721 women tried on terrorism charges, 23,000 dismissed from civil service in Turkey since 2016: report

A total of 97,721 women were tried on charges of terrorism and 23,202 women have been dismissed from the civil service since a July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, according to a report published by the CrossBorder Jurists Association (CBJ) on March 7.

“In the same period [since 2016], the number of people who were tried in courts on ‘terror’ charges and whose trials ended was 599,524 and the number of women was [97,721],” the report said.

Women were forced to stay with their babies in prisons, said CBJ, a German-based organization founded by former Turkish jurists, adding that they’ve faced serious human right abuses including mistreatment and strip-searches in prisons.

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of the coup attempt that remained in effect until July 19, 2018. More than 130,000 public servants, including 4,156 judges and prosecutors, as well as 24,706 members of the armed forces, were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

Femicides and rights violations 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 AKP government, which protects violent and abusive men by affording them impunity.

Despite opposition from the international community and women’s rights groups, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a decree in March 2021 that pulled the country out of the international treaty, which 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 member countries of the Council of Europe in 2011.

According to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform, at least 392 women were murdered by men and 226 women died under suspicious circumstances in Turkey in 2022.

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