Report: 440 women murdered in Turkey in 2018

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A woman raises her fist next to another holding a sign reading "Stop men's and state violence" during a march on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul to mark International Women's Day on March 8, 2016. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)

A report released by the Stop the Murder of Women Platform shows that there was an increase in the number of murders of women in Turkey in 2018 and that 440 women became the victims of deadly domestic violence in this year, according to Turkish media reports on Tuesday.

The report, which was based on newspaper reports, revealed that 85 percent of the murders were committed by husbands, lovers, former husbands or former lovers.

The same report also showed that 317 women were subjected to sexual assault in Turkey in 2018.

“Violence against women is a crime against humanity based on gender discrimination. Violence against women is the biggest bleeding wound in our society. Violence against women should not be seen as only physical violence, there is also psychological violence and sexual violence,” said the report, adding that millions of women in the country are living under pressure as they are being subjected to a form of violence from men.

Women’s rights organizations have for years been trying to raise awareness about the increase in violence against women that has taken place in the last decade.

Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has long been accused by critics of seeking to erode the country’s secular principles and limiting the civil liberties of women.

Erdoğan has drawn the ire of feminist groups for declaring that every woman in Turkey should have three children and with proposals to limit abortion rights, the morning-after pill and caesarean sections.

He has also been accused of blatant sexism after declaring that women are not equal to men and claiming feminists in Turkey reject the idea of motherhood.

He said biological differences meant women and men could not serve the same functions, adding that manual work was unsuitable for the “delicate nature” of women.

Seen by critics as increasingly authoritarian, Erdoğan has also repeatedly lashed out personally at female journalists who displeased him.

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