Some 22 women in 1.5 years fell to death in suspicious cases

Some 22 women in 1.5 years fell to death in suspicious cases

Some 22 women in 1.5 years fell to death in suspicious cases

Some 22 Turkish women have plunged to their deaths over the past year and a half from a balcony or window, raising women’s rights groups’ eyebrows on whether these were femicide framed as “suicides.”

In 2018, the nation mourned a young university student, Şule Çet, whose death many in the country believed was yet another femicide even though it first appeared to be as though she jumped out of a window of a tower in Ankara.

Journalists and feminist groups who arrived at the scene immediately after questioned whether she was actually thrown out of the window by the men she was with hours before her death. Evidence gathered proved she was in fact thrown out of the window.

“The case was solved and [it was concluded that] Çet was murdered. But we have been witnessing suspicious deaths like Çet’s since,” daily Milliyet said in a report on July 9.

Security forces have not disclosed the details of the 22 women who died under suspicious circumstances over the past year and a half, and whether their deaths were suicides or murders remain unknown.

“It does not matter if a woman collapses in a bathroom, was found in a well, or fell from a window or a balcony. Every woman’s death is a suspicious death,” Canan Güllü, the head of the Federation of Turkish Women Associations, told Milliyet.

Turkey is no stranger to acts of violence against women or femicides, where a woman is killed by someone she knows almost every day.

Despite the pressing issue of femicide, Turkey earlier this month formally withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, the world’s first international legally binding instrument to combat violence against women and domestic violence, despite waves of protests and anger from Turkish women and rights groups.

Some 82 women were murdered only in the first 81 days of 2021, according to the Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicide Platform), a women’s rights organization that monitors violence against women.