Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
announced yesterday that he has launched an extensive campaign against violence against women across the country, in the aftermath of the brutal murder of a university student in an attempted rape on a public minibus.
“Let’s start a campaign with you here. I and my wife, we are starting an extensive campaign against violence against women. I call on you to join this with your spouses. Our women should raise our voice for Özgecan, for all woman victims of violence,” Davutoğlu told the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Antalya
provincial women’s branches congress.
The female audience chanted “Break the hands that target women,” as Davutoğlu responded that “we will break these hands together.”
Davutoğlu’s remarks came after the burned body of 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan was discovered Feb. 13 in a riverbed in the Tarsus district of the southern province of Mersin. Three suspects have been detained for stabbing Aslan to death and later burning her remains.
Davutoğlu vowed to do what is necessary to prevent similar incidents. “We are once again condemning this cold-blooded murder. We are opening a youth center in Antalya
today and we will name it after Özgecan Aslan,” announced Davutoğlu during his speech at the congress.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), wrote on Twitter: “There is no harassment, rape, violence in the nature of women! We will all together say ‘no’ to this mentality!”
Kılıçdaroğlu called Songül Aslan, the victim’s mother, and conveyed his condolences.
“I know whatever I say will not heal your burning heart. All we can do is to pass on our blessings for Özgecan and patience for you. You are not alone. Turkey is sharing your pain. We will condemn this inhumane savageness and we hope the murderers will receive the highest penalties,” Kılıçdaroğlu told the mother on the phone.
Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek
called Mehmet Aslan, the father of the murdered woman, and vowed to follow the case to the very end.