Large percentage of women do not feel safe alone at night, says TurkStat report

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A total of 27.3 percent of women living in Turkey do not feel safe on the street at night, according to a 2020 report released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

The report, which was published today, also said two times more women than men do not feel safe staying home alone.

Violence against women is a growing concern in Turkey. According to the Bianet news website, at least 33 women were killed in domestic violence in February, while 14 women died under suspicious circumstances. Additionally, 57 men were reported to have physically assaulted women.

At least 104 women were reportedly forced into sex work by men.

The year 2020 witnessed an increase in rights violations against women in Turkey, with rising numbers of femicide cases amid discussions of withdrawing from the İstanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty designed to prevent violence and domestic abuse against women.

The convention was opened for signature in Istanbul in May 2011 and entered into force in August 2014. So far 45 Council of Europe member states have signed the convention, while 34 of them have ratified it, with Turkey being the first among the 34 ratifying countries.

At least 284 women were killed in Turkey at the hands of men in 2020, according to a parliamentary question submitted by Semra Güzel, a deputy from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

Amid the fear of a possible withdrawal from the İstanbul Convention, 155 Turkish women of letters published a joint statement defending the convention, while women took to the streets across Turkey to protest the possible move.

Amnesty International started a petition against a possible withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, with 17,000 people signing the petition so far.

In a statement published today, Amnesty International said they would support Turkish women who were fighting for their rights. “We support the women who protested against a withdrawal from the convention, and those women who were detained by the police in the process,” it said. “As Amnesty International, we demand that the Istanbul Convention be fully implemented.”

Women’s networks have decided to stage a large demonstration against femicide and violence against women today in Istanbul.

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