At least 603 women have been killed in Turkey at the hands of men since the country’s withdrawal from Istanbul Convention in 2021, an international treaty aimed at combatting domestic violence, a report drafted by an opposition lawmaker has revealed.
The report from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Candan Yüceer, released on March 8, International Women’s Day, also shows that 464 other women died under suspicious circumstances in the same period.
In the report, titled, “AKP’s success: World leadership in violence against women,” Yüceer accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of targeting the Istanbul Convention on claims that it damages family values and promotes homosexuality and then of withdrawing Turkey from the convention illegally.
The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence is an international accord designed to protect women’s rights and prevent domestic violence in societies and was opened to the signature of member countries of the council in 2011.
Despite opposition from the international community and women’s rights groups, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a decree in March 2021 that pulled the country out of the international treaty, which requires governments to adopt legislation prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence and similar abuse as well as marital rape and female genital mutilation.
Erdoğan claimed the treaty had been “hijacked by a group of people attempting to normalize homosexuality” which it said was “incompatible” with Turkey’s “social and family values.”
Turkey officially withdrew from the convention on July 1, 2021.
According to Yüceer’s report, at least 7,990 women have been killed by men since the AKP came to power in 2002.
Femicides and violence against women are serious problems in Turkey, where women are killed, raped or beaten every day. Critics say the main reason behind the situation is the policies of the AKP government, which protects violent and abusive men by affording them impunity.
Turkey was ranked 124th out of 146 countries with respect to inequalities between men and women in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2022.
Violence continues on Women’s Day
Meanwhile, violence against women did not stop on Women’s Day in Turkey as three women were killed by men in İstanbul and the eastern provinces of Batman and Malatya on Wednesday.
In İstanbul, Tülay Erşahin Yaşar was stabbed to death by her husband, Murat, after a quarrel. The man died by suicide following the murder.
In Batman, a woman named Tuba Atılgan was shot to death by her husband whom she was about to divorce while she was waiting for a bus.
In Malatya, a woman identified only by the initials B.Ç. was stabbed to death by her partner, Ö.Y., after a quarrel.
The perpetrators of violence against women are mostly the women’s husbands, ex-husbands or partners or in some cases their fathers or brothers.