Turkish gov’t vows to tackle violence against women

Turkish gov’t vows to tackle violence against women

Turkish gov’t vows to tackle violence against women

The Turkish government has prepared a 75-article plan to curb violence against women, the minister of family, labor and social services has said.

Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk unveiled the Coordination Plan to Eliminate Violence Against Women at an event at the presidential complex attended by First Lady Emine Erdoğan on Nov. 25.

“We will conduct a new study on the implementation of the Law No. 6284. In accordance with the study, we will execute an inclusive work on change proposals and new adjustments,” said Selçuk, referring to the 2012 legislation on the protection of the family and the prevention of violence against women.

The coordination plan involves protocols signed by the Justice, Interior, Education and Health ministries alongside Turkey’s top religious body, Diyanet, according to Selçuk’s remarks.

“Murder of every single woman is stabbing humanity in the back treacherously,” Emine Erdoğan said at the event.

“Whatsoever the label is held, an individual cannot take the possession of another one. Men cannot possess women. They cannot claim superiority. Nobody has the right to conduct actions beneath one’s physical and mental integrity,” she added.

Recalling that femicides and violence against women often occur in occasions of divorce, jealousy and arguments over honor, the first lady said: “Let us not forget that morality is a merit of humanity. It is regardless of gender.”

The Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services has organized events in each of the 81 provinces to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Rallies, orange light displays, distribution of pamphlets and meetings were held as part of the “UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women – 16 Days of Activism” campaign launched by the United Nations Women.

The effective implementation of the Law No. 6284 is often raised by women organizations in Turkey, as well as the preventive articles of the Istanbul Convention, officially known as the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, signed in 2011.

According to figures provided by Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicide Platform), which keeps a tally of femicides across the country, 390 women were killed by men in Turkey this year as of the end of October.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on March 6 said that 281 women were murdered in 2018 across Turkey, citing the report. The women’s platform, however, put last year’s number at 440. The interior ministry and the NGO categorize femicides differently, accounting for the disparity in numbers, Soylu said. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for his side, said in a tweet that violence against women is one of the biggest crimes against humanity.

“We will keep struggling against violence, abuse and discrimination against women and team up to wipe off such shame from the country,” he said.