21 women killed in domestic violence in Turkey in October

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Women hold posters reading "stop the murders of women" and shout slogans as they demonstrate to mark International Women's Day in Ankara on March 8, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

A report released by the Stop the Murder of Women Platform shows that 21 women in Turkey were victims of fatal domestic violence in October.

According to the report the reasons for the murder of 12 of the women were unknown, while nine of them were killed by men in retribution for requesting a divorce, for refusing to engage in a romantic relationship, for rejecting a marriage proposal or for failing to reconcile with their former partners.  

The report said authorities’ failure to determine the reasons behind the killing of the 12 women is a result of the increasing violence against women and their being kept away from public attention.

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.

The platform also accused the Turkish ministry responsible for family, labor and social affairs of failing to follow up on the murders.

“Instead of revealing how many women were killed, by whom and for what reason, the ministry is distorting the facts by claiming that the number of murders of women is wrong. According to the İstanbul Convention, the state has the authority to reveal the statistics,” the platform said.

The İstanbul Convention, signed by member countries of the Council of Europe in 2011 to promote women’s rights and prevent domestic violence in societies, has recently been the subject of a heated public debate in Turkey.

Some conservative circles claim the İstanbul Convention has destroyed families by introducing “foreign terminology” to traditional Turkish values and the law.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has repeatedly said he sees gender equality as contradictory to the nature of men and women.

In the meantime, a video posted online on Tuesday showed a bridegroom violently hitting his bride on a roadside in the Belen district of Hatay. The video, which was shot by someone in a car passing by on the road, shows how some women in Turkey are subjected to male violence even on the day when they are supposed to be their happiest.

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