A woman who was killed by her ex-husband in southeastern Urfa province on Friday had filed 30 complaints with the police but was not provided protection, the We Will Stop Femicide Platform (Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu) has revealed.
Hülya Elkoca, 42, was shot dead in front of her 19-year-old son who has Down Syndrome. She had previously obtained a restraining order against her husband; however, he forced himself into her home.
Elkoca’s sister, Deniz Elkoca, said she had gone to the police countless times saying she feared being killed. “My sister was killed because she wanted to separate from her husband. She told the police her concerns, but they didn’t take her seriously,” she explained. “During the five years my sister was married, she was subject to violence.”
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, 280 women were murdered in Turkey in 2021.
Victims of violence have said Turkish authorities are ineffective in combatting violence. They say their complaints to the police about abusive partners go unanswered and are ignored.
It was recently revealed that 19-year-old Asiye Nur Atalay, who was killed on May 2 in Istanbul by a stalker, had also filed a complaint with the police. The young woman was not provided protection although the perpetrator already had a criminal record and had been released from prison six months earlier.
Despite the alarming numbers and women’s testimony about ineffective policies, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan withdrew from the Istanbul Convention on March 20, 2021.
The Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, widely known as the Istanbul Convention, was signed by 45 countries and the European Union in 2011 and requires governments to adopt legislation prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence and similar abuse as well as marital rape and female genital mutilation.
A survey conducted in March by Metropoll revealed that 52.3 percent of Turks were against the withdrawal from the convention. While more than a majority of participants opposed it, 26.7 percent approved and 10.2 percent had no opinion.