Turkish gendarmerie trains staff, soldiers to fight violence against women
Meltem Özgenç – ANKARA
DHA PhotoTurkish gendarmerie forces have trained a total of 12,000 staff and soldiers on how to combat violence against women in the past two years, one of the projects’ leaders has said, adding they had distributed flyers in villages across the country to raise awareness and inform women of their rights as part of the project.
Colonel Ahmet Özkurt, the head of the Foreign Relations and Human Rights Department, said they had incorporated courses on fighting and preventing violence against women into the gendarmerie curriculum.
“The gendarmerie is responsible for around 92 percent of Turkey’s surface area. We have trained 250 specialized trainers on preventing violence against women; they will continue local internal training,” Özkurt said.
He said they had trained 2,000 military officers and 10,000 soldiers in two years, adding they aimed to continue the education, as there were 2,000 gendarmerie security posts and around 1,000 provincial gendarmeries.
“All the soldiers who serve in the gendarmerie will be trained accordingly,” said Özkurt, which accounts to between 50,000 and 70,000 young men annually.
To raise awareness among women the gendarmerie printed 200,000 flyers which provided information about identifying violence against women and distributed them to women across the country.
“We wrote on the flyers that they should call the gendarmerie if [men around them] swear, frighten them, threaten them, humiliate them, control them by citing jealousy, do not allow them to see their children, do not allow them to work or force them to work, beat them, harm their children, harass them or force [them to have] sexual intercourse,” said Özkurt.
The gendarmerie learned most women in rural areas did not know actions which come under the classification of psychological violence were actually violence, he said.