Pain, not joy on Women’s Day, says Turkish pop icon
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
International Women’s Day is full of pain and not a day to celebrate on calendars as violence against women continues across Turkey, Tarkan says. Hürriyet photoTurkish pop superstar Tarkan has said in a message that International Women’s Day is full of pain and not a day to celebrate on our calendars as violence against women continues across Turkey.
“March 8, International Women’s Day, is not a day to celebrate, it is a day filled with pain on our calendar,” Tarkan said in a message released by daily Hürriyet on March 8.
“In a society dignifying maternity and mothers, unfortunately, men are killing women and girls. This contradiction is not understandable,” he said, criticizing the murder of women and domestic violence in the country.
“On the one hand, it is dignifying maternity, on the other hand beating and torturing other mothers, future mothers, exploiting their labor. It is taking their freedom away,” he added, accusing the “unhealthy approach of masculinity stuck between the sacred and chastity, triggering the violence.”
Women killings continue
The pop star’s message has brought attention to a recent case where a woman who was exposed to domestic violence at the hands of her husband and repeatedly threatened with death was saved by police in Istanbul’s Kartal district. Fatma Yolcu called police after her husband, Engin Yolcu, waited in front of their house with a knife, after threatening her late March 7.
Engin Yolcu attacked both police officers as well as his wife, but was halted by police, who shot him in the leg. The mother of four thanked the police department for saving her life and filed a complaint against her husband.
In a separate case, Gülcan Ç. was unable to call the police when her husband stabbed her to death while her twin sons watched. A quarrel broke out between the couple in the Aegean province of Manisa’s Turgutlu district when her husband, M.Ç., came home and allegedly saw Gülcan Ç. speaking on the telephone. M. Ç. began to beat Gülcan Ç., 38, and killed her in front of the house.
Legal reforms have not been seen as adequate and state institutions are widely criticized by activists for failing to implement laws and regulations. President Abdullah Gül said in his Women’s Day message that it is not possible to reach the desired levels in women’s rights with only legal regulations, adding that a modern educational approach that teaches women their rights and supports them in defending their rights in democratic ways is the key to this problem.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pledged to act with women in their struggle for rights, also calling on women to learn and defend their rights during a speech in the eastern province of Siirt.
Activists across Turkey celebrated Women’s Day with rallies, and members of an initiative calling themselves “Working Women” gathered as two separate groups in Kızılay square near downtown Ankara. The female suspects in the Kurdistan Communities Union case came to court wearing purple clothes during hearing in Istanbul.