Violence against women worse than racism: Family minister

Violence against women worse than racism: Family minister

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Violence against women worse than racism: Family minister

Action taken against those who commit violence against women has spread and become a shared approach thanks to recent efforts, Minister Şahin says.AA photo

Discrimination against women is worse than racism, Turkish Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin said yesterday during an event on the issue in Istanbul.

“We have attached the utmost importance to making sure that all citizens of the Turkish Republic equally benefit from their [rights of] citizenship regardless of their religion, language, gender or sect. This is how we see the women’s rights issue. This is how we have made our international strategies. Just like our prime minister said, discrimination against women is worse than racism.

“We made this our motto and followed it in practice,” Fatma Şahin said, adding that action taken against those who commit violence against women had spread and become a shared approach, particularly among those holding decision-making positions.

Şahin made the comments at a meeting at the Renaissance Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel yesterday to mark the 30th Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in Turkey (CEDAW).

Asked about a case in which prosecutors were seeking a life sentence and attempted murder charges against a 19-year-old boy who used force against his girlfriend, Şahin said the claims and the sentence requested were the prerogative of the trial’s prosecutor.

“We have to receive it with due respect to the independence of the judiciary. But of course we will track the development of the case,” she said.

Protests outside of the convention

A group of female activists staged a demonstration in front of the hotel where Şahin spoke. Gathering before the hotel entrance, women from the Istanbul Feminist Collective held a protest demanding the abolition of reductions in sentences for murderers of women and better equality between the sexes.

Speaking on behalf of the protestors, Öznur Subaşı said women suffered all kinds of discrimination.

Noting Turkey’s low ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap 2012 report, Subaşı said the ministry should provide funds for female divorcees rather than attempting to prevent divorces.

“The Family and Social Policies Ministry cannot not hide its misogynist policies with this CEDAW meeting it is hosting,” Subaşı said.

Man charged with life for violence against lover

The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has demanded an “attempted homicide” charge against an 18-year-old man who violently attacked his girlfriend, daily Sabah reported yesterday. The 20th Istanbul Court for Serious Crimes accepted the charge and opened a legal case against the man with a demand for an aggravated life sentence.

The man, Fatih K., had an affair with Büşra B. for two years. Before the incident, the couple met in the woodlands around the Bayrampaşa neighborhood of Istanbul. When Büşra B. said she wanted to break up with him, Fatih K. cut her neck with a knife, kicked her and finally attempted to choke her.

Fatih K. brought her to a hospital after she assured him she would not file a complaint against him.

The hospital exam revealed broken bones. Even though Büşra B. did not file a complaint, police at the hospital started to investigate the case since her injuries required extensive medical treatment.

The prosecutor demanded an investigation, and Fatih K. was arrested and held in Istanbul’s Metris Prison. The two-month investigation was completed a few days ago, and the prosecutor filed a criminal case against Fatih K. for a “planned homicide attempt” and demanded a sentence to life in prison for him. The indictment read that he had brought his girlfriend to the woodlands since he planned to kill her.