Milestone women act passed by Turkish Parliament

Milestone women act passed by Turkish Parliament

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Milestone women act passed by Turkish Parliament

Hürriyet photo

Turkish lawmakers passed unanimously yesterday a landmark bill to curb violence against women in a rare show of cooperation between the ruling party and the opposition.

The adoption of the legislation, which introduces tough measures against abusers and significantly boosts state assistance for victims, coincided with International Women’s Day as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had planned.

The debate at the General Assembly was relatively tension-free as opposition lawmakers backed the bill, even though they protested that some provisions in the original version drafted by the Family and Social Policies Ministry had been watered down.

All 208 lawmakers present in the house voted in favor of the bill. “I’m grateful to all parties for the unanimous vote. This is our March 8 present to women. Protecting women from violence amounts to protecting the whole society from violence,” said Environment Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar, who took the floor on behalf of the government.

Several changes were made to the draft during the two-day debate. Under the revised version, the authorities would not seek evidence or documents proving that the victim had been subjected to violence in order to enforce protective measures. A provision that would have enabled judges to enforce protection measures even if they are not requested by the victim was removed from the text.

The law provides protection for all women: married, divorced, engaged or in a relationship. In cases of life-threatening danger, security chiefs would be able to make urgent protection decisions or issue restraining orders without a court ruling. An array of technological means would be employed to enforce the law.