Turkey’s Education Minister calls ‘end to violence’ after teacher’s killing, citing sexism in traffic signs

Turkey’s Education Minister calls ‘end to violence’ after teacher’s killing, citing sexism in traffic signs

ISTANBUL
Turkey’s Education Minister calls ‘end to violence’ after teacher’s killing, citing sexism in traffic signs

This combined picture shows slain teacher Ayşegül Çelik (L) and the traffic sign mentioned by National Education Minister Ziya Selçuk in a tweet on July 28.

Turkey’s National Education Minister, Ziya Selçuk, has called an “end to violence” after the killing of a teacher in Istanbul, while citing a traffic sign to point to “gender inequality” embedded in public subconscious.

“Her name was [a combination of] Ayşe and Gül (Rose). Many things, like this traffic sign, creates a public subconscious in gender inequality,” Selçuk said in a tweet on July 28,” mentioning the first name of a teacher in Istanbul who was killed by his estranged husband.

Ayşegül Çelik, a 40-year-old mother of two who worked at Atatürk Middle School in Istanbul’s Avcılar district, was assaulted by his 58-year-old husband Mehmet Reşit Çelik on July 26 amid a divorce case.

According to local media reports, the man shot the teacher near her school and then gunned down her mother at their apartment. Both women died on the scene, while the assailant fled.

“In order to cherish the memory of our teacher Ayşegül, we need to fix such misperceptions, to treasure our girls first at home, and then at school and finally throughout the whole life, while calling for an ‘end to violence’ all together,” Selçuk said in the tweet.

The minister also added that he wished from God “strength for us to accomplish this work bravely.”

In 2017, a total of 409 women were killed and 387 children were reported as having been sexually abused in Turkey, according to data compiled by We Will Stop Femicides Platform.

On March 8 thousands of women flocked to central Istanbul for this year’s International Women’s Day demonstration, demanding greater women’s rights and denouncing violence against women.

Beside violence against women, rights groups also campaign against sexist traffic signs in a number of countries.

Australia had started to replace male figures in pedestrian crossing lights with women as a step towards gender equality last year.

In Germany, local politicians in Dortmund debated in 2014 a 50% quota for women figures in traffic signs.

Ayşegül Çelik, Ziya Selçuk, violence against women