Cloud of femicide suspicions hanging over deaths by falling
At least 28 women have lost their lives in two years under suspicious circumstances after falling to the ground from a height, in what many fears could be examples of femicide.
The women have plunged to their deaths from a balcony or window, raising eyebrows of many women’s rights groups on whether these were femicide framed as “suicides” or “accidents.”
As heated debates were ongoing among social media, two women lost their lives and one woman was severely injured in the first 15 days of 2022 after falling from windows.
Melike Şahin, a university student in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, lost her life after falling from the balcony of her boyfriend’s house. The man was released on a condition of judicial control.
Another woman from the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Nurse Adile Kılınç, lost her life after falling from a balcony while arguing with her friend, Çağrı Şaşmaz, who was later arrested by a local court.
Again, in the Kocaeli province, 23-year-old Sefanur Çağlar, who went to the residence of her police officer friend, fell from the seventh floor of an apartment building and was seriously injured.
Five more suspicious deaths that were also headlined in the last two years were first framed as suicide or accident, but forensic reports revealed that the deaths were the result of being “pushed down.”
Speaking to daily Milliyet, Professor Hakan Kar, a forensic medicine specialist, said that the number of people who died as a result of falling from a height is much higher than is estimated if the events not covered in the media are considered.
“We are trying to distinguish whether the traumatic lesions detected during autopsies occurred before deaths or whether they were caused by falling from a height,” Kar said, referring to the importance of fall angle and speed.
“The path followed by a free-falling human body in the air is different from the path followed by a person thrown down,” the expert noted, pointing out that the deaths of women allegedly committing suicide should be examined in detail.
“For some reason, all those who fall from high are women. Even this gender discrimination is a criterion in itself,” he said, stressing that jumping from a height is not the first among the suicide methods preferred by women.
Turkey is no stranger to acts of violence against women or femicides, where a woman is killed by someone she knows almost every day.
Some 17 women were murdered just in the first 20 days of 2022, according to the Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicide Platform), a women’s rights organization that monitors violence against women.