Yet another woman murdered in Turkey

Increasing femicide and violence against women in Turkey amid ongoing discussions seeking to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention.

A woman by the name of Makhfırat Ashurova was murdered by a man in Istanbul on Thursday.

According to reports, the woman was killed by her friend, Selamettin Ç. with firearm in Aksaray neighborhood of the Fatih district. While the woman’s body has been taken to the Forensic Medicine Institute, the man was taken into custody.

Despite the shocking rate of femicide, the AKP government has been debating for some time whether to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, which aims to curb violence against women, especially domestic violence, and to strengthen gender equality. 

In its report for the month of July, the ‘We Will Stop Femicide’ Platform (Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu, KCDP) documented that a total of 36 women were murdered in Turkey within a month. Eleven more women were found dead in a suspicious manner.

92 percent of the victims were killed by violent husbands, friends, former partners or male relatives, five of them "because of financial reasons", thirteen others because they wanted to divorce or separate, rejected men or because they wanted to decide about their own lives.

According to the balance of all the murders recorded by the police and published in the media, in 18 cases it could not be established why the women were killed.

According to the report, eleven women were killed by their husbands, another five by their partners. In another five cases, male acquaintances were the perpetrators, six women were killed by ex-boyfriends. Six women were killed by their fathers, sons or other male relatives. The murder weapons used were mainly firearms. 24 women were shot, five stabbed, three strangled, one beaten to death and another pushed out of a building. Fifty percent of the women were murdered in their own homes, another 17 percent on the street.

In its report, the KCDP platform emphasises that those who feel "disturbed" by gender equality claim that the Istanbul Convention would endanger or destroy traditional family structures and family cohesion. Conservative circles in Turkey even attribute the increase of femicide in the country to the Istanbul Convention, although 2011 - the year in which the law on the Council of Europe Convention was drafted - has one of the lowest femicide rates in Turkey, KCDP criticises. It is only because regulations such as Law No. 6284, which according to the AKP is supposed to act as a "protective cloak for women", are not or hardly implemented, that male violence in Turkey is on the rise again.