Violence against women rises sharply in Turkey, 409 women killed in 2017

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

An annual report of a women's rights platform displayed a grim outlook on the issue of violence against women, one of Turkey's bleeding wounds, with the number of victims rising sharply by 25 percent to reach 409 in 2017.

The statistics released Sunday by the "We Will Stop Femicide Platform" showed that 39 percent of victims were murdered by their husbands, boyfriends, ex-husbands or ex-boyfriends. Fathers, sons, stepsons or other relatives were perpetrators in 24 percent of the murders, whereas in 33 percent of the cases perpetrators were unknown or identified.

The group, which was founded in 2009, keeps regular tallies of women who fell victim to male violence. According to their data, 237 women were killed in 2013, 294 in 2014, 303 in 2015 and 328 in 2016. In addition to deaths, thousands more are believed to have been injured.

Istanbul, which hosts some one-fifth of Turkey's population, topped the list with 57 murders in 2017, followed by Izmir with 32, Antalya with 25, Bursa with 18, Adana with 17 and Gaziantep with 15 victims.

At least 43 percent of the murders were committed with firearms, whereas in 21 percent of the cases the murders were committed with knives or other tools.

The report also said that at least 332 women were victims of sexual violence.

Another statistic featured in the report concerned abuse of children, which said at least 387 minors were victims of sexual abuse in their homes, dormitories and schools. It added that 20 children were killed in 2017, and in half of these cases perpetrators were fathers.

The group claimed that the ongoing state of emergency, imposed after the failed coup in July 15, 2016, is among the primary reasons of the rise in violence against women.

Despite efforts and public campaigns, violence against women continues to be grave problem in Turkey, with the number of victims rising steadily. Lack of implementation of anti-violence laws by law enforcement and lack of coordination between different government agencies are often cited among the primary deficiencies in regard to the the state in the issue, whereas economic conditions and terror are also noted as side causes.

However, experts also note that reporting on these cases has significantly improved over recent years, which is an important step to identify the scale of violence and take action.

Recently on Nov. 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that a new action plan will be implemented.

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