Over 856,000 domestic violence injunctions issued in 27 months
Bülent Sarıoğlu – ANKARA
Turkish courts have granted 856,020 injunctions protecting domestic violence victims in the past 27 months, according to the head of the first civil chamber of the Ankara regional courts of justice.
“Some 38-39 percent of women are exposed to violence [in Turkey] at some time during their lives,” said Zeynep Öksüzoğlu during a presentation to the Turkish Parliament Committee on Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men.
Women constitute 82 percent of all domestic violence victims, children, 6 percent; and the rest are men, she said. The number of protective domestic abuse injunctions, such as change of address or identity, was 50,758 in 2017, 47,715 in 2018 and 11,211 as of April 1, she reported.
“These are enormously big numbers and really increases the burden of the courts. The Justice Ministry is even thinking of establishing domestic violence courts. That also has its positive and negative sides, and I think our ministry is discussing this issue,” said Öksüzoğlu.
A prosecutor in Ankara that deals with combating domestic violence estimated that every prosecutor in Turkey has over 10,000 cases of domestic violence.
“There is a big demand for the electronic bracelets [for the perpetrators]. But, it is said to be an expensive method. It is mostly members of families which have substance addicts and mentally ill that suffer the most. Substance addiction is awful. First of all, an effective combat against drugs is necessary,” said Ankara prosecutor Emine Avcıoğlu during her presentation for the parliament commission.
“And children really get damage [due to domestic violence incidents]. You look at a 5-year-old child, their psychology is completely ruined, as their mothers and fathers are in a conflict. Adults in some way raise their voices, but the child is very much the one who suffers,” she said.
Judges in Turkey complain about the media’s presentation of domestic violence cases.
“The media has to change its method regarding the handling of domestic violence cases,” said Öksüzoğlu.
“For example I have watched one [domestic violence news story] on the TV the other day. The channel showed the women having dark eyes [due to beating], her arms and ribs broken, and also told the audience in which room of which hospital she was being treated. The next morning the case came to me. So [the news] says to the husband as if ‘Come and kill this woman,’” said Öksüzoğlu. She added that not the victim, but the perpetrator, should be “exposed.”
Ankara Second Family Court Judge Ramazan Karakaya also touched upon the media’s handling of such news during his presentation.
“On one hand, there is the option of [the media] writing: ‘He did not forgive his wife that cheated on him,’ and on the other hand, there is the option of: ‘He killed his wife and became a murderer.’ In the first one, there is a subconscious praising; that is important,” said Karakaya.
Violence against women is a recurrent issue in Turkey. In addition to domestic violence, several hundred femicides are recorded each year.
Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicides Platform), an association that monitors cases of violence against women, counted 440 murders of women by men in 2018.
According to another report prepared by the Umut (Hope) Foundation, a prominent nongovernmental organization dedicated to reducing personal gun ownership, the number of women murdered in 2018 in Turkey was 477.
Of this number, 120 were killed with guns, 89 with rifles and 132 with sharp objects, while the remaining 136 were either choked or beaten to death, the Umut Foundation said, basing the figures on news reports.