Special unit established for domestic violence complaints

Special unit established for domestic violence complaints

ISTANBUL - Radikal
Special unit established for domestic violence complaints

This file photo shows a group of women protesting against domestic violence in front of an İstanbul courthouse. AA photo

The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office has specially assigned two prosecutors to head up a new Office for Domestic Violence Crimes due to the considerable increase of violence cases filed in recent months.

In previous months, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) had issued a notice on “the implementation of the law about family protection,” in order to enable an effective fight against domestic violence. The notice specified that inquiry and precaution requests should be conveyed to the related courts and demanded that the proceedings be carried out by specific public prosecutors, courthouse officials or offices so that the courts’ decisions would be executed more efficiently.

Prosecutor Berna Altay, a former specially authorized public prosecutor who is also the prosecutor in the investigation into the murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, was assigned to the office and has been examining the complaints of those exposed to domestic violence.

However, because of the high number of complaints in May, Taner Tabel, one of the prosecutors at the general inquiry office, was also assigned by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office to aid Altay.

In June, Altay received 477 files, while Tabel was given 254 files related to domestic violence, although the latter also received 269 files for other cases, bringing his total to 523. At the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office, a prosecutor receives about 200 files per month under normal conditions.

According to procedure, the two prosecutors immediately open an investigation to make a
protective and preventive decision after receiving a notice about domestic violence. Subsequently, they follow the proceedings after the decision has been transmitted to the relevant institutions. However, the prosecutors are reportedly experiencing difficulties in remaining abreast of the proceedings due to the sheer number of cases.

The domestic violence office is set to begin working in September with a new working regulation, according to reports.

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