We do not have enough shelters for women. The police and judiciary are not sensitive about domestic violence. And we have so many other factors contributing to this vicious circle. In March 2012 this government introduced a new law to protect women against violence. This new law provides more protection to women, at least on paper. The law also increases penalties in relation to breaches of measures protecting women. However, despite this very law entering into force, new murders and physical and psychological attacks have continued without interruption. Bianet has just published a monthly report about violence against women, which documents attacks against women that took place just in March. The full report is almost 10 pages long, and it includes rape, beatings, harassment as well as murders. To give you the test of the bitterness of violence against women, I have picked murders from this report and have listed them below. Here is the murder diary for March:
A man named A.G., 31, stabbed his ex-wife Sebahat Gezer, 33, to death in front of his four-year-old daughter in a park in İzmir. After the murder, A.G. surrendered to the police and was arrested.
A man named A.C. shot his wife Feride Canıbol to death after a quarrel in her workplace in İstanbul. A.C. gave himself up to the police. In Ankara, a man named Y.K., 36, killed his wife Tülin K., 31, with a pump-action rifle at her home for filing for divorce against him. Y.K. was arrested. Previously, Tülin had been under police protection, but she hadn’t extended her request for protection after the first one expired.
In Gaziantep, a man named A.Ç., 27, attempted to rape Neslihan Polatbilek, 29, whom he had promised to find a job. When the woman resisted him, he killed her with a stone. A.Ç. had escaped from the prison in Gaziantep one day before the murder.
In İstanbul, a man named Ö.M. shot to death Japarzade Diyar Bengitay, 40, the wife of his cousin, at a medical center where she was receiving treatment after a violent incident. It was reported that there was an ongoing divorce suit between the women and her husband, F.B., and she had previously complained to police about her husband’s ill-treatment; F.B. had previously been jailed for 10 years for killing his last wife. Ö.M. was detained and said that F.B. had told him to kill his wife.
In Ankara, a man named M.Y., 31, gunned his girlfriend Funda Yıldırım, 28, to death. M.Y. reportedly wounded her with a gun and threatened her two years ago.
In İzmir, a man named T.Y., 50, seriously wounded his daughter T.Y. with a pump-action rifle and killed Ali Ürken, 26, with whom she was living. Also, a man named K.Y., 52, who was watching TV at home, was wounded because of the buckshot. After the incident, T.Y. attempted to commit suicide.
In Urfa, a man named A.Ü.G., 17, killed Naime Solmaz, 74, with a stick after breaking into her house. He was referred to the court on charges of premeditated murder and assault and was arrested.
In İstanbul, a man named H.İ.Y. shot to death his wife, Suzan Yıldırım, 29, who was pregnant, in a car. He abandoned his car in Gebze and went into hiding.
In Ordu, a man V.A., 57, killed his ex-wife Esme Türk, 48, with a pump-action rifle in the marketplace. V.A. was apprehended and taken into custody.
In İstanbul, İ.F. stabbed his wife Demet Filcan, 30, to death at a spot just 150 meters away from the Silivri Courthouse on the day the divorce action between them was to be heard.
In Manisa, A.B., 26, stabbed his wife Ş.B., 25, to death and then gave himself up to the gendarmerie. In İzmir, a transsexual named Tuğçe Şahin was beaten and shot to death.”
The diary is like a nightmare. Can we solve this deep-rooted problem by only issuing a few new laws? I really do not think so. Violence against women is not unique to Turkey; women in all parts of the world suffer from domestic violence in all different forms. However, each country has its own unique factors contributing to this epidemic. It is high time for Turkey to look deep into this problem and try to see all of its facets. We really need to have a comprehensive questioning to this end.