HDP MP Gülüm: The new “judicial package” is against women

HDP deputy Züleyha Gülüm stated that the "fifth judicial package" on the Turkish government's agenda would make it harder for women who experience violence to get divorced and condemn children to abuse.

While protests against Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention continue, the Erdoğan regime takes another step towards the disenfranchisement of women with the "fifth judicial package". Just seven days after the withdrawal from the convention, the "Fourth Judicial Package" was passed with the votes of AKP and MHP. In this package, "concrete evidence" was made a condition of imprisonment in cases of sexual abuse, torture and premeditated murder. This package has already been criticized as a perpetrator protection package, as the "concrete evidence" criterion in particular is usually impossible to meet in cases of patriarchal violence. Now the regime is preparing the "Fifth Judicial Package." The package, which is to be submitted to Parliament, aims to establish "reconciliation commissions." Women's organizations and lawyers warn that the establishment of these commissions will put women's lives in danger. Züleyha Gülüm, a lawyer and HDP deputy, spoke to the Mezopotamya news agency about the judicial package.

"First justice reform took away prisoners' rights"

Gülüm drew a devastating balance from the first four so-called judicial reform packages: "New regulations have robbed prisoners of their rights and enabled arbitrary treatment. Parole and conditional release are prevented. Even sick prisoners on the verge of death are not released. Prison administrations were granted many more powers. These packages did not bring rights, they took them away."

"Violence and murders will increase"

Gülüm spoke about the attacks of the legislative packages on women, saying, "Women usually take care of the children after the divorce. Every now and then, the father is given the right to see the child. This handover is accompanied by police, educators and bailiffs. Now they want to remove the accompaniment. This is very dangerous. Because this puts the women in danger of their lives. The women are already being violently attacked again and again, despite police and enforcement officers. If this is also lifted now, handing the child over will become a dangerous process. This regulation will lead to murders. Because if we look at femicides, most of them are committed during or after the separation period. If the control by officials is removed, it means nothing but opening the way for organized femicide."

Alimony to be restricted

The pro-regime newspaper Yeni Şafak stated that "alimony victims" are waiting for the 5th judicial package. "Alimony victims" does not mean women and children whose fathers evade alimony payments, but men who have to pay alimony. Gülüm said on this point: "This package is intended to reduce alimony payments. There are discussions to further limit alimony payments both in period and amount. The state is doing this at the request of a few men. The state is taking a stand on the side of the men."

The goal of the "reconciliation commissions"

The HDP politician also addressed the "reconciliation commissions" and said, "This is about mediation and reconciliation. This concerns women. Before proceedings take place, women are wanted to be made to accept and reconcile with a violent husband. It is actually a coercive mechanism. In this situation, the woman, who just does not have the same rights as the man, is forced to accept the conditions of the other party. This is a development that will prevent a fair trial."

"Divorce will be made more difficult"

Gülüm warned that Law 6284 about the prevention of violence against women could also be repealed. Thus, women could soon be exposed to any patriarchal violence. She MP continued, "The government is trying to make it harder for women who experience violence to get divorced. It is trying to condemn them to marriage. An order is being created step by step that condemns women and children to a fate of violence.” In this way, she said, the regime is trying to secure its existence. "We are in a process of institutionalizing fascism. The transfer of so much money to the religious authority Diyanet is actually a clear indication of what the regime will look like. This regime does not leave any space for women. The women's sector is always the first sector of society targeted by authoritarian regimes."

Joint struggle

Gülüm concluded by saying, "We will take a united stand against this judicial package and unite our opposition. The government wants to obtain an amnesty for men accused of raping children. We protested and they had to withdraw the bill. All women must take a stand together against this package."