Number of femicides decreased slightly in 2021, but still blood-chilling
Violence against women and femicide continue to be grave problems in Turkey, with worrying statistics based on recent annual death tolls showing that current preventive measures are far from sufficient despite the downward trend in recent years.
At least 367 women were murdered in Turkey in 2021, according to annual data by the Federation of Women’s Associations of Turkey (TKDF), lower than the previous year’s 409, but still is a blood-chilling figure as it shows that one woman got killed almost every day.
Representatives of women’s movement organizations evaluated the non-stopping femicides and suspicious deaths in the country to daily Milliyet.
Attributing the failure to prevent femicides to legal loopholes and deficiencies in women’s policy, Canan Güllü, the head of TKDF, drew attention to the fact that there is no defined article on violence against women in the Turkish Penal Code.
“As long as the perpetrator is not punished for the violence he committed, femicides will increase. Unless precautions are taken, murders will not decrease,” Güllü said, noting that the scale of the brutality has been rising day by day.
Stressing that an approach that pushes women into a more traditional structure has begun to be enforced, Güllü said that women are now also murdered by men other than a relative, spouse, or partner.
“In order to prevent this violence and murders, a Women’s Ministry should be formed, women’s policies should be implemented and a definition of violence should be added to the Turkish Penal Code,” Güllü stated.
Rukiye Leyla Süren, one of the lawyers of Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicides Platform), a women’s rights organization that monitors violence against women, has pointed out that the suspicious death rate increased in 2021.
Stressing that the deaths of 12 out of 18 women murdered in October 2021 alone were suspicious, Süren noted that suspicious deaths are significant for both living and murdered women because a death that remains suspicious provides a recipe for another femicide.
Recalling the murder of Başak Cengiz, who was killed with a samurai sword while walking, Süren reminded that the perpetrator acted with the thought that the victim was weak and could not respond.
Expressing that it is aimed to imprison women in a weak area in society with gender inequality, Süren said that because the necessary steps were not taken, a man could think that he could easily kill a woman with a samurai sword he had.
“The year of 2021 needs to be evaluated and reported very well in terms of gender inequality,” she said, adding that a mobilization should be launched on how to end the violence and abuse of women everywhere, including in politics, at schools, or on streets.