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Domestic violence in Turkey increased by 7,000 pct in past 15 years, report reveals

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A report drafted by an opposition lawmaker about domestic violence in Turkey has revealed that there has been an approximately 7,000 percent increase in the number of cases of violence against women over the past 15 years, the Kronos news website reported.

The report, titled “Violence that gained legitimacy, justice that remained a witness,” was drafted by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chairman Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi.

“A total of 2,123,080 women sought protection from the state between 2006 and 2020, which went into the official records as an increase of 6,886 percent. This means [domestic] violence has risen by a factor of 70 in the past 15 years,” said İlgezdi, adding that 13 percent of these requests were rejected by Turkish courts due to a lack of sufficient evidence.

İlgezdi’s report was released on the day Turkey officially withdrew from an international treaty on Thursday designed to prevent domestic abuse, in a controversial move by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan sparked outrage in March by pulling out from the world’s first binding treaty to prevent and combat violence against women, known as the Istanbul Convention.

According to the report, there was an increase over the previous year in the number of women seeking protection from the state due to violence at home in 2020, when Turkey imposed partial lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2019, 264,660 women sought state protection, a figure that increased to 339,792 in 2020.

İlgezdi criticized Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government for seeking ways to legitimatize violence against women by ignoring domestic  laws and international treaties.

“Getting out of the Istanbul Convention at a midnight is an obvious effort by the government to legitimize domestic violence,” said İlgezdi.

Violence against women and femicide are serious problems in Turkey, with daily media coverage of the issue.

In 2020, 300 women were murdered, and the rate shows no sign of slowing, with 79 women killed in the first three months of 2021, according to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform.

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