Women get NGO shooting training against violence
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
All participants hide their faces behind purple masks and use code names while speaking to press. ‘Purple is the color of resistance,’ Şefkat-Der head Hayrettin Bulan says. DHA photoA Turkish NGO has launched a new course to teach women at risk of violence how to handle guns, citing the lack of state protection for such women.
“We believe that armed women will be a deterrent for men with murderous intent,” Hayrettin Bulan, the head of Şefkat-Der, told the Daily News yesterday.
The aim of the classes is to teach self-defense, Bulan said, adding that they also aimed to provide deterrence and safety to women who were not given protection by the state. The classes also include training on pepper gas, anger management and advice for using the legal system. But an official with the Family and Social Policies Ministry said it was impossible to solve domestic violence with more violence.
A non-governmental organization, Şefkat-Der (Compassion Association), kicked off weapon training courses for “women under the threat of male violence” on Nov. 25, the Struggle Against Violence Toward Women Day.
Some 15 women began taking the training in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, Şefkat-Der head Hayrettin Bulan told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. He said the association would be guiding the participating women to defend themselves with arms.
“We believe that armed women are a deterrent for men with murderous intent. Rich people, moneychangers, prosecutors and even exchange office personnel are allowed to carry weapons because of the potential risks associated with their work. What about the women who are threatened with death by their ex-husbands or families? Even the sound of a gun cocking may frighten potential killers,” he said.
The state should grant licensed, tax-free arms to women under threat in order to defend themselves in emergency situations, according to Bulan, who added that the association had received over 20,000 phone calls since they had announced the course.
Bulan also said the association planned to spread the course across Turkey, which would
also include transsexuals who are under threat of hate crimes. “This is only for self defense,” he stressed.
The training - which also includes classes in “pepper gas use methods,” “anger management,” “self defense sport” and “methods of searching for legal remedies” - opened in Konya with a target range activity for its 15 students. All participants hid their faces behind purple masks and used code names while speaking to press. “Purple is the color of resistance,” Bulan said.
He added that there are three goals of the course.
The first is to teach self defense, the second is to provide security to women not protected from male violence by the Turkish state, and the third is to provide deterrence to potential attackers.
“It will bolster the morale of women who are waiting to be killed,” Bulan said.
The Family and Social Policies Ministry has yet to make an official statement on the initiative. However, using other violent means to solve the problem of domestic violence is not possible and Minister Fatma Şahin is not happy with Şefkat-Der’s training course, a ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.
Anyone over 21 is free to obtain a gun license in Turkey.