The EU and Turkey are cooperating to fight violence against women with a joint project aiming at strengthening the non-governmental institutions that promote the human rights of women.
The joint project, called "Strengthening the Mechanism of Combatting Violence through Local Cooperations," aims to reduce the number of victims of domestic violence in three major provinces in Turkey: Ankara, Adana and İzmir. It started Feb. 1 and will continue until April 30, 2015.
The EU has contributed about 138,000 euros.
Coordinated by the Foundation for Women's Solidarity, the project is working in three areas: workshops and training, coordinating cooperation between women organizations in three cities, and organizing activities to raise awareness of the problem.
The rising number of cases of violence against women is a major problem in Turkey. In the first six months of 2014, more than a hundred domestic homicides of women were recorded, according to an online record-keeper of victims of domestic violence.
"We will make house visits for an eight-month period with a minimum number of 20 women in a household in three cities," said Pınar Cetinkaya, a social service expert at the Foundation for Women's Solidarity in Ankara.
"This is a hard topic for victimized women to talk about," she said. "These women mostly have difficulties in leaving their homes, so we decided to go to them. We will talk about their issues and discuss with them on what they can do in case they are subjected to violence -- not only physical, but also psychological, sexual, economic and cultural violence."
The project will provide free legal and psychological consulting services for 10 months to women in need.
At least a thousand women are expected to directly benefit from the project in its first eight months. After the project has concluded, many more will have access to various services with more effective NGO's working for women in need, organizers said.