As many as three women are killed every day in Turkey, a Turkish human rights organization has revealed.
This emerged from a press conference by the Diyarbakir branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD), where the IHD’s Ezgi Sila Demir released statistics on violence against women in Turkey’s eastern and southeastern provinces on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25.
The report, which covers the period from November 25, 2018, to November 25, 2019, indicates that a total of 54 women were murdered in those areas.
It adds that 16 women committed suicide, 13 more died under suspicious circumstances, 61 were injured as a result of violence and nine experienced sexual assault within the same period.
Stating that four women were killed in the southeastern Diyarbakir province by their husbands or partners in 2019, Demir argued that they could have been alive now if “they had been effectively protected by the government and violence had not been normalized in the society.”
She pointed out that Turkey ranked 130th among 149 countries in World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2018, she added: “The current political structure of the country disregards gender equality and the politicians’ discourse adds to that.”
She said that those who kill women “find courage from the government’s impunity policy” because in most cases the judiciary chooses to accuse the women instead of men, implying that they act against gender roles.
She urged the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to eliminate policies that promote sex-based discrimination and effectively punish those who use violence against women.
Demir further underlined that the current policies of the Turkish government “force” women to stay at home, preventing them from equally participating in social life as men.
“Only 102 of the 600 lawmakers in the [Turkish] parliament are women. [Mostly] men decide on policies regarding women. This state of the country’s parliament is the most striking indicator of gender inequality,” Demir indicated.
She also pointed at the violence used by police forces on female prisoners in Turkish jails.
“Most of those cases of physical torture and battering are not investigated and the officers who use violence on women remain unpunished,” she explained.
Demir said the IHD will continue fighting against violence inflicted on women in Turkey.