Marriage encouraged, not school

Marriage encouraged, not school

Finally, the state is going to start disclosing figures on female murders. Up until now, they were “unrecorded,” but now they are being recorded. This is what Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin is saying.

The Justice Ministry released the last official statistics on murders of women for between 2002 and 2009. That was how it came to light that there had been a 1,400 percent increase in these murders. Since that day, the state, despite all applications, never disclosed women murder statistics. We could only learn from newspaper reports, from the figures of courts and the police, by keeping a tally ourselves, counting one by one.

Those recorded

Minister Şahin said there had been a serious drop in murder incidents, but her statements are far from being scientific: “It went down from 177 to 165, then to 155.”

What year is that? What are these figures based on? It’s not certain, but it was recorded that 210 women were murdered in the last six months of 2012 alone.

On the other hand, one should see some positive steps that the Family Ministry has taken. For example, they are determined that criminals be sentenced by the maximum possible punishment in female murders.

There has been a 50 percent increase in punishments given for marriages of minors, (though in this it is also not certain what the criteria are). Meanwhile, the panic button devise has only been allocated to 71 women, but it is still being said that it was a deterrent.

Apart from that, the crime of “incest” has not yet been defined. The state is making all kinds of twists and turns in order not to pronounce the word “incest.” The number of women’s shelters - which are required by law - is still far, far lower than the necessary number. The minister cannot give any good news on the opening of new ones.

Loans for newlyweds

If you want good news, you should get married and immediately have a child. Minister Şahin said newlyweds would be given credit of 10,000 Turkish Liras interest-free. If you get pregnant in the first year, the payback of the credit will be postponed. Of course, there is not one kuruş of loan for those who have a child out of wedlock!

In other words, the state will be distributing money with the aim of marriage and fast impregnation.
Most importantly, among those “incentives” that are introduced to protect women (the family) and to support her participation in the workforce, there is nothing about the continuity of the education of girls. The universal rule of the participation of women in the workforce is to prioritize education.

Those who have a child immediately after getting married should not be rewarded. On the contrary, young people should be encouraged to become responsible parents. Marriage is encouraged and promoted abundantly in society anyway. Is it necessary for the state, on top of that, to give money? The real issue is that those who get married without adequately getting to know each other end up in divorce, isn’t it?

* The number of couples who married in 2012 in Turkey increased 1.9 percent compared to the previous year, reaching 603,751.

* Let’s assume that the same number of couples will get married in 2013. That means the state will be distributing, interest-free, 6,037,510,000 (6 billion) Turkish Liras in credit.

* In 2012, the number of divorced couples increased 2.7 percent compared to the previous year, to become 123,325.

I wonder if the very same state that distributes interest-free loans to newlyweds would impose a penalty rate on the divorced.

*Mehveş Evin is a columnist for daily Milliyet in which this piece was published on Oct. 31. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.