The ocean of paradoxes
We, the women of this country, are swimming in an ocean of paradoxes. Incidents are happening which stop our brains from functioning normally. Sometimes our jaws drop. Sometimes we cannot hold back our tears of joy.
At other times, we have fits of rage; we shiver from head to toe.
All of these are happening in this country!
The United Nations has launched the “UNITE to End Violence against Women” campaign. We have illuminated famous historic buildings in Istanbul with orange lights, as other buildings in the world have.
However, there has been nothing heard from parliament. The “Özgecan Act” draft has been waiting there for a long time. It is a bill that aims to stop the needless, lame-core, generous reductions granted to woman murderers… We have not seen the slightest effort for this motion to be processed.
Moreover, Gözde Salur has launched a campaign at change.org and it has more than 1 million signatures; that is also staring at them…
As long as it is left to the opinion of the judge to grant reductions in femicides, we will be swimming in an ocean of paradoxes for a very long time.
As a matter of fact, we already are. In a case in southeastern Şanlıurfa, a pervert who beat a woman with a hose and raped her has been released after an arrest period of four months on grounds the rapist adopted a respectable attitude in court and the woman had consented.
Can you tell me, for heaven’s sake, why should a pervert beat up a woman with a hose if she already gave consent? How can this man be released? There is no logic behind the reduction in femicide punishments; it is up to the discretion of the judge.
Unfortunately, the same criterion, the same reasoning, the same discretion, and actually the right to self-defense, are never applied to cases where woman are forced to kill men to defend themselves.
It is automatically a “heavy life sentence.” Why? It is because women are second class citizens. They do not have a right to self-defense. But, when a man hits, the woman should turn the other cheek. If not, she should serve a life sentence.
There is another issue that we are ashamed while talking or writing about: Child marriages; the forced marriages for girls of a very young age and in some cases girls being sold for money or property.
It is so widespread in this country that in one in every three marriages in this country the girl is younger than 18 years old.
There have been 181,000 odd child marriages recorded. These are only the known cases. Every year, more than 20,000 families take legal action to be able to marry their daughters younger than 16.
The result is the primary cause of death for young girls between the ages of 15 and 19 becomes complications related to pregnancy and birth.
A protective clause in the law that prevented underage brides was annulled by the Constitutional Court. From now on, the husbands of child brides will not be imprisoned. Why is this so? It is so that certain men will be able to marry child brides with ease of mind and soul; so that our shame and rage can build up more?
When will certain minds come to their senses and protect our little girls?
When will be out of this ocean of paradoxes?