17 women killed by men, 20 more died suspiciously in Turkey in May: report

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Seventeen women were murdered by men in Turkey in May and 20 more died under suspicious circumstances, in the second month after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, according to a report on Thursday released by the women’s rights group We Will End Femicide Platform.

According to the report, 10 women were killed at home; 12 were murdered by their current or former husband or partner; and two were killed by their sons and one by her father.

In seven of the incidents, the women were murdered because they wanted to make their own decisions about their lives, such as wanting a divorce or refusing to remarry or get back together with their former husbands or partners.

The report further showed that nine of the 17 femicides were committed with a knife, while five of the women were killed with a gun.

The women’s rights platform underlined in the report that it was the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s duty to put workable solutions into practice to stop femicides in the country, vowing that they would continue their struggle to urge all relevant governmental bodies to take action in the matter.

“The violence targeting women [in Turkey] will continue as long as we don’t determine who killed them and why; as long as there are no fair trials, suspects and murderers aren’t given deterrent sentences, and preventative measures  aren’t taken,” they argued.

The report also reminded that Minister of Family and Social Services Derya Yanık had attracted widespread criticism in May due to remarks suggesting that the country has experienced “tolerable levels” of domestic violence during the coronavirus pandemic while speaking to members of a committee investigating violence against women.

Femicides and violence against women are serious problems in Turkey, where women get killed, raped or beaten every day. Many critics say that the main reason behind the situation is the policies of the AKP government, which protects violent and abusive men by granting them impunity.

Erdoğan sparked outrage in Turkey and the international community after he pulled the country out of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, on March 20. The country is expected to officially withdraw from the convention on July 1, according to a presidential decree published in the Official Gazette in late April.

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