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Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue issues report entitled (Violence against women in Turkey)

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Monday, April 19, 2021

Press Release

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On Monday, April 19, 2021, the Research and Studies Unit of the Dialogue Forum for Development and Human Rights issued a report on “Violence against Women in Turkey”  

The report noted the high rates of violence against women in Turkey due to the “low perception” of women and the escalation of violent crimes against women, particularly domestic violence, has led to an escalation of the Turkish government’s negative media discourse towards women and the practices of the security and judicial services, which has contributed to ignoring and exacerbating the problem.

Erdogan’s speech on equality, in which he argued that women were not equal to men, had contributed to an increase in violent crimes against women by deepening stereotypes against women and negative perception of their role in society.

Turkey ranks 130th out of 153 countries in the 2020 Gender Equality Index, with lower wages and education rates than men, which has mainly contributed to increased rates of violence against women, the report said.

With regard to Turkish laws and women’s rights, the report noted that the effectiveness of Turkish laws in punishing perpetrators is very weak, as sexual violence has been recognized in the Penal Code for a crime committed against individuals rather than as a crime against society, or the family or, public morals.

The report stressed that the laws on the protection of women are many, but the practical reality on the ground for Turkish women is very difficult, the laws are just ink on paper. It is worth mentioning that Turkey is seeking to pass a law allowing the rapist to marry his victim.

With regard to the rates of violence against women in Turkey, the report explained  that in recent months violence against Turkish women has reached the highest levels”, after at least 300 women were killed in 2020 and 171 suspected deaths were recorded last year as well, and the report stated that there were three main reasons for femicide, the first being family guardianship and gender inequality, the second religious extremism and the third being the government’s policy that classified women as second-class citizens.”

When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decision to revoke Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention to protect women from violence, women took to the streets of Turkish cities to protest his decision, and security authorities arrested dozens of participants and more demonstrations against the decision to withdraw from the agreement are expected, the report states.

The report also stated that the high rates of violence against women in Turkey indicate that the government’s efforts to curb this phenomenon are “cosmetic”, as it relates to adopting policies and laws without real practices on the ground to curb this phenomenon, as well as condoning a phenomenon. Women’s discourses that perpetuate more violence against them.

The report stressed that a set of laws to protect women from domestic violence meant protecting them only if there were effective practices by the Turkish government to reduce the phenomenon, as formal change must be followed by a set of effective and viable policies, and a large number of women in Turkey were subjected to systematic abuses and persecution, particularly minority women and women active in civil society and human rights.

Turkey’s exit from the Istanbul Convention, which was drafted to deal with violence against women and girls, is the first time a country has decided to withdraw from a European agreement after it has been ratified, the report said.

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