Men in Turkey kill at least 28 women in March

According to the women's rights organization KCDP, in March at least 28 women were murdered by men in Turkey. The group also registered an increase in hostility and attacks against members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

At least 28 women were murdered by men in Turkey last month, according to the balance sheet of the Istanbul Platform against Femicide (Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu, KCDP). The organization fears, however, that the number of unreported femicides is much higher. Indeed, 19 women died in March under suspicious circumstances. Experience shows that perpetrators often construct scenes to make femicide look like suicide, accident or natural death. Especially since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the KCDP has recorded a significant increase in suspicious deaths. The organisation called on the government to review its decision to withdraw from the international Istanbul Convention against Violence against Women and to comply with the treaty. Two weeks ago, Turkey withdrew from the international agreement by presidential decree. Since then, twelve women have been murdered by men.

Reasons for feminicide

The background to the femicides could not be determined in 20 cases. One woman was killed on economic pretexts, and seven others either for wanting to divorce, refusing to enter into a relationship with their murderers or refusing to reconcile with their partners. "They were murdered because they wanted to determine their own fate," the report said. The platform says that the motives in twenty murders are unclear and underlined that patriarchal violence and feminicide are made invisible in Turkey: “As long as it is not established by whom and why women are murdered, as long as there are no fair trials, the perpetrators will feel they can carry out murders and the violence will continue. "

The murderers

Thirteen of the women murdered in March were killed by their husbands, three by partners, four by male acquaintances, three by ex-husbands, two by distant relatives, two by their brothers and one by a former partner.

The crime scenes

Women have been murdered in their own homes in the majority of cases. A total of 18 women were killed within their own four walls, six femicides occurred in the street, one woman was murdered in a remote area, one in a field, one in a car and one in a park.

The murder weapons

Firearms were used to kill women in 14 of the femicides recorded and knives in nine others. Three women were strangled and another was burned alive. In one case it is unclear how the victim was killed.

Increase in attacks on LGBTIQ+

In their balance sheet, the women of KCDP also point to an increase in hostility and attacks against members of the LGBTIQ+ community. The organization attributes the increase in the sometimes fatal attacks against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, inter and queer people to the government's homophobic polarization policy, which specifically discriminates and creates a hostile environment. From July, the discussion initiated by conservative Islamist circles about the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention intensified because it was "hostile to families", undermined traditional values ​​and promoted homosexuality.