Turkish women changing names to escape violence from men
DHA PhotoAs Turkey mourns Özgecan Aslan, the 20-year-old who was killed brutally last week, figures show that violence against women in the country remains an enormous burden, with 125 women changing their names in a bid to escape from their potential attackers.
Official figures revealed that a massive 118,014 women applied to the police last year complaining that they faced violence, up from 82,205 a year earlier, Anadolu Agency reported on Feb. 19.
Some 24,444 women are currently under temporary protection, according to police data. The police provide personal bodyguards for 38 women, while officials are waiting on-call to protect the 24,406 others if necessary. Similar measures were taken for a total of 77,288 women throughout last year.
Protection orders ban men from approaching women who apply, but the system has failed in many cases.
The Family Ministry also runs a “panic button” application, which helps women call for help by using an electronic device, but it has already accepted that the measure has failed to yield sufficient results.
The ministry now plans to conduct pilot tests on electronic wristbands, similar to the electronic bracelets used by the Justice Ministry to trace certain suspects or convicts released on probation. They will be able to monitor whether the attacker is approaching the victim.
Around 15,000 people marched in the southern province of Mersin on Feb. 18 to protest the murder of Özgecan Aslan, which has caused an outcry across the country.
The burned body of Aslan, who had been missing for two days, was discovered on Feb. 13 in a riverbed in Tarsus in the southern province of Mersin. Ahmet Suphi Altındöken, the 26-year-old bus driver, confessed in a testimony to the prosecutor that he stabbed Aslan to death before cutting off her hands and burning her body. The court arrested Altındöken, while his 50-year-old father, Necmettin Altındöken, and 20-year-old friend, Fatih Gökçe, have also been arrested on charges of being accomplices to the murder.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 19 Özgecan’s family launched a donation campaign in cooperation with the Mersin Governor’s Office to build a school and a rehabilitation center in the province.