Turkey records 8 femicides in 2 days

A total of eight women were allegedly killed by their family members over the last two days, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Monday.

The accused perpetrators were all current or former husbands of the victims. One of the spouses shot himself afterwards.

On Saturday in Izmir, Rıdvan Kahraman, 32, allegedly shot his wife Fatma Kahraman. Despite being rushed to the hospital by emergency services, the woman succumbed to her injuries. Kahraman was detained at the Denizli bus terminal.

Later that night, at around 1:30 a.m., Sedat Mertoğlu, 38, allegedly attacked his estranged wife, Gülsüm Mertoğlu, 33, with a sharp object. Despite being taken to the hospital, Gülsüm Mertoğlu did not survive. Police are still searching for Sedat Mertoğlu, who has a lengthy criminal record for theft.

In Adana, Hakim Eba, 23, allegedly killed his estranged wife, Şükran Eba, 19, her brother Muhammet Erat, her mother Leyla Erat and her father Turgut Erat. Eba then fled the scene with his newborn child.

On the same day, in Balıkesir’s Gönen district, Cevri Gökyıldız, 62, shot and killed his wife, Maizer Gökyıldız, 55, before turning the gun on himself. He was critically injured and remains in the hospital on life support.

On Sunday in Diyarbakır, Hilal Kar was allegedly shot dead by her husband, identified only as M.D. Efforts to locate and detain the suspect are ongoing.

In Antalya, on the same day, Abdülkadir Kocaoğlu allegedly killed his ex-wife Ayten Çağıran with a sharp object. Kocaoğlu was arrested at the scene by police, and the woman died from her injuries.

In Gaziantep’s Araban district on June 23, Mehmet Emin Mercandağı allegedly shot and killed his wife, Fatma Mercandağı. The suspect was detained by gendarmes at the scene.

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 315 women were murdered by men and 248 women died under suspicious circumstances throughout 2023.

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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