Turkish Medical Association condemns gender-based violence in new statement 

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) issued a statement on Tuesday condemning gender-based violence and femicide, calling on Turkish authorities to act against increasing cases, the Bianet news website reported

Following separate attacks on two female healthcare workers in Mersin province on Monday, the TBB blamed government policies and a culture of impunity in the judiciary protecting perpetrators of violence by handing down reduced sentences. 

“Women are being killed in broad daylight, in the streets,” said the TTB. “Yesterday, nurse Ayfer Kaya was murdered by the man she was trying to divorce. The same day, an intern was shot six times by a man. She is currently fighting for her life in intensive care. Women are being murdered in public places, in their workplaces.” 

The TTB said it was alarming that both women had been shot and drew attention to increasing gun violence against women. “The use of guns is a big problem in Turkey, and authorities are doing very little to monitor what kind of people have access to firearms,” they said. “Furthermore, we are seeing that politicians are even encouraging gun ownership.”

According to the TTB, the government has failed to protect women from violence by taking several controversial steps such as withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention, a European convention against gender-based violence. 

In an overnight decree in 2021 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan withdrew Turkey from the Istanbul Convention, which requires member states to adopt domestic legislation and strictly punish domestic abuse and gender-based violence.

Furthermore, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and its conservative allies have started a discussion to abolish Law No. 6284, a domestic provision that provides protection mechanisms for women and children who have suffered or are deemed at risk of suffering domestic violence.

“We are sad and angry, but we are also adamant to continue our fight against male violence,” said the TTB. 

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 AKP government, which protects violent and abusive men by granting them impunity.

According to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform, 392 women were murdered in Turkey in 2022.

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