Femicide is the gender-related crime where females, from embryo to fetus, infant to child, adult to old, are murdered or forced to commit suicide by a man merely because “they are females” or because “they are acting against the social codes of their gender identity”. Femicides must not be perceived as murders in which only people of female sex are killed. These hate crimes aim to attack the female identity.
440 women were murdered and 317 women were sexually assaulted.
Compared to previous years, the number of femicides increased in 2018. This year, 440 of our sisters lost their lives to male violence. The number of femicides has been increased in accordance with increasing attacks on our rights and the violence policies effectuated by state of emergency. War policies carried on by the constant state of emergency caused the brutality of these murders to rise significantly. This year, we have encountered more femicides whose perpetrator we have yet to find out. Women under protection have been murdered. The age range has been fallen and children have also been murdered. The main reasons for this increase in femicide are: instead of taking measures against femicide and violence, the state has preferred rather to bring more laws and practices which would increase violence against women and the state has not complied with the existing laws and contracts. Despite our suggestions to stop violence against women, femicide and child abuse, the Ministry of Family and Social Policies was merged with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security. In return, Kadın Meclisleri (Women’s Assemblies) made a statement underlining that ‘If there is no Ministry of Women, we are here‘. 2018 has been a year during which organized resistance of women has been increased. In March, more than 500 women around the country gathered as Türkiye Kadın Meclisi (Turkey Women’s Assembly) and announced as “Women Won’t Stop”. March was also the month during which femicide rate was at the lowest compared to rest of the year.
Despite the increase in femicide, child abuse and sexual violence, we have left behind a whole year of continuous resistance. According to Istanbul Convention (The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence), to which Turkey is the first signatory, it is the state’s duty to analyze the data on femicide and to uncover the underlying causes. This year in November, Minister of Interior Affairs Sülyman Soylu announced data regarding femicide. According to his announcement 353 femicides in 2017 and 238 femicides this year up till November had been committed and he claimed that there was a 22% decrease in femicide when we compared the first 11 months of this year and last year’s.
We do not know the source of this data. However, according to data we have collected, 652 women were murdered in the past 19 months. All these incidents appeared either on media or on our records. To make a final report, we have compiled the murders from the news and personal briefings directly reached to our assemblies. However, the amount of child abuse and sexual assault is way higher than covered on media or in public statements. Instead of authorities who have failed to fulfill the duty to disclose this data, we, as Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will End Femicide Platform), compiled this report with information we got from the media and we will share it with you:
(In this report, we considered homicides of certain children as femicides and included them in our list of femicides. These victims include but are not limited to : Elif Mina and Miray Hira (ages 2 and 4) who were murdered alongside their mother by their father, 13-year-old Nurdan Şahin and her mother who were murdered again by the father, an 8-year-old and her mother who were found by a river, 2-year-old Ecrin Elgün and her mother who were murdered by the father, 8-year-old Eylül Yağlıkara who was abused and murdered by her neighbor, 4-year-old Leyla Aydemir, 2-year-old Betül El Hassan who was killed by her father’s violence, 13-year-old Esma A. who was murdered alongside her mother, 2-year-old Derya D. who was found dead suspiciously in a women’s shelter and 9-year-old Sedanur Güzel who was murdered after being abused.)
In 2018, 1217 cases of child abuse covered in the media and 26 children were killed
This year, 1.217 cases of child abuse were covered in the news but we are aware that the actual number is significantly higher. Children were abused in all areas they were present: in their dormitories, in schools by their teachers and by the school staff and in their homes by their close relatives. In December, we saw in the media that 9 children were abused. Two sisters having been abused by their father attempted to suicide when they learned about the possibility of their father’s release from prison. Two sisters indicated that the state did not protect them and their statements of the prosecution and hospital reports were altered.
In 2006, 11 of 26 children were killed by their fathers. Men killed 6 children along with their mother and 5 children were killed through the violence by their father. It was revealed that 3 children were killed after being abused.
In January, it was revealed by a social service specialist Iclal Nergiz that in the first 5 months of 2017, at the Kanuni Sultan Suleyman Training and Research Hospital, 115 children with complaints of early age pregnancy were not reported to the authorities. According to the report issued in October by the Ministry of Health, the number on the subject was stated as 158. In July, while the investigation about 348 children who were not informed to the judicial authorities in Bagcilar Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul was being carried out, Ministry of Health announced that reportings were made without any reserve and children came to the hospital with other complaints.
Following the increase in the number of children killed and abused, people started to raise their voice against it. While waiting for the government to take concrete steps, the debates on “capital punishment and castration” were raised in February.
In April, the draft law, which envisions lowering the age limit in child abuse and restricting the right of alimony of women, became the agenda of the women’s movement. Women who are against laws which do not have definitive solution methods against violence, conducted studies on the methods of stopping child abuse by saying “We want solutions to stop child abuse, not only-for-show laws.” The law proposal which suggests lowering the age limit in child abuse and bringing a broadcast ban on news saw a severe reaction. A protest campaign rolled out with the hashtag #TasarıİstismaraÇözümDeğil (The draft law is not a solution for abuse). The draft law then got suspended.
In August, a girl who was being forced to marry reported her case to the police and consequently she was taken under protection.
Child Abuse is Preventable
While the number of child abuse and murders increase, the government should do its duties and International Lanzarote Convention, Child Protection Law and Regulation, Coordination Strategy Document on Child Protection Services should be implemented. All the officers of all establishments and institutions, and every person should report the risk factors to the directorates of social services. When an institution notified, it must immediately make the required investigation about the events.
*The data on child abuse is limited by the cases covered to the press, the actual figures are much more higher when considering children applying to child monitoring centers. However, there are cases not reflected in these centers. It should be noted that the actual size of child abuse is not yet measurable in Turkey.
Secular education was ignored again
Children, who started their education life last year with sexist rhetoric, were exposed to anti-secular rhetoric and abuse in their schools. In high schools there have been serious uprisings against harassment.
Metin Demirbağ, who served as the deputy director of Metin Seçkin Secondary School in Tekirdağ, started gender segregation in the school, which caused the parents and students’ reaction.
At Bahcesehir Ataturk Anatolian High School, the students started protests in their school against the director who said, “Don’t wear those tight pants if you do not want to be harassed.”about a harassment which happened in their school. The reaction of students who made a sound against harassment resulted with a gain. A legal action was initiated about the director.
On 11 September, the Ministry of National Education removed the clause of coeducation from the regulation.
In October, in Kadriye Moroğlu High School all the school students started their campaign “#TacizVarSesÇıkar“(There is Harassment Raise Your Voice) for all of the students who were abused by their teacher, and they boycotted the lessons he was giving at school.
Women said #KadınlarDurmayacak (Women Won’t Stop) against the attacks on their lives and lifestyles
More than 500 women from all around Turkey gathered for Women Assembly of Turkey in Istanbul, Maltepe. It was discussed what should be done in the face of the increasing violence against women and children, and the goals were tired to be determined. The goal of constituting Women’s Assemblies in 81 provinces of Turkey was settled and women from different political thoughts were brought together.
In February, from Marmara University Theology Faculty Prof. Dr. Faruk Beser, asked to the Ministry of Health “Is it not possible to keep men and women in separate rooms in intensive care? Can’t a woman doctor take care of women and a male doctor of men?”
In November, Prof.Dr. Mehmet Kerali, Dean of Necmettin Erbakan University in Konya, said:
“Being a good housewife must be more important than being a president or a business woman.” and he added that he won’t give his vote to any female candidate in the upcoming elections. He resigned from his position upon dense reactions.
The artist Sila Gencoglu applied to the court as a result of the violence she had faced from the actor Ahmet Kural. Sila, wanted the implement the of the law no. 6284 effectively and Ahmet Kural had a suspension for 3 months. It also caused a great reaction from the public because of his attempts to normalize the violence against Sila, and with his speeches after the event. At the same time, Women’s Assemblies stated that recently increased violence against women and that statements made in favour of the prosecutor in these situations should be stopped, since it is a crime according to the law and announced that they would initiate legal processes otherwise. This event emphasized why the law no. 6284 was a lifesaving law for women.
In the 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Women’s Assemblies held meetings in many cities of Turkey. They were invited as a speaker to many different universities for panels. Women’s Assemblies and We Will Stop Femicide Platform shared the types of violence and the methods of stopping it with the public via Twitter with a co-work.
In Ankara, Çanakkale, Çorum, Bolu, Denizli, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Izmir, Erzurum, Izmir, Aydin, Istanbul, Ankara, Konya, Sivas, Tekirdağ, Mersin and Kütahya women came together for the November 25.
In Kadıköy Women’s Assemblies were held together with the families of women who were killed on November 25, and women who were subjected to violence and made their protest together. With the intense participation in the search for justice, the action was blocked by the police. In the evening of the same day, the march in Taksim met the police again. Women carried out their act in Kadikoy. The walk spread all over Taksim, too. The proconsulate, which showed no determination to do its duty when the women wanted to be protected, decided against the march of women. It is not possible to stop the fight of those who want to walk to stop the violence.
Sule Cet’s death was a femicide, not suicide.
We’re going to expose all the murders which are made to look like a suicide.
In May, we had to struggle for collecting evidence at the investigation stage to prove the murder of Sule Cet, who died falling from the 20th floor of a plaza.
Following the reaction of the society and the evidence gathered as a result of our struggle, it was stated in the report of Forensic Medicine Institute that an accurate evaluation could not be made and the result could not be known medically because they could not confirm whether Sule was killed or committed suicide, and if she was subjected to sexual violence or not. Women reacted against this statement of Forensic Medicine Institute. Because as an expert to court, Forensic Medicine Institute cannot say we do not know. In December, after completion of indictment, the file was sent to the High Criminal Court.
If suspicious deaths are covered and the perpetrators are not punished, those deaths will continue to increase. However, the struggle for Sule Cet will be a deterrent for whom trying to cover up the femicides.
It was claimed that Alara Karademir, a law school student who lost her life suspiciously in her instructor’s room, committed suicide.
The death of Aysun Yildirim, who died falling from the third floor of her workplace, was recorded as an unexpected death first and then as a suicide on the grounds that there was no place for prosecution. Her family objected to the verdict, but the objection was overruled.
Attacks on women from life, from the street, from work to isolate continued
Women refused all the pinks that restricted their lives
The pink wagon, which was put into practice last year in Bursa, was removed in January this year. On the other hand in May, shopping center for women was opened in Istanbul and the opening was made by men. None of these practices are intended to prevent violence against women, but rather to exclude women from society. To isolate women from society without discussing the fact of increasing sexual violence in society, to defend that there is no other solution. However, it can be prevented if acted according to existing laws.
In February, Rize Yesilcay Sports Club Women’s Football team’s 2nd President and Kackar TV Sports Director Alaettin Onay in live broadcast announced Çaykur General Manager Imdat Sutluoglu’s explanation of “Supporting women athletes is a sin.” Yeni Akit writer Ahmet Gülümseyen in an article “Lady, of course, should do sports, but volleyball and similar branches of the ‘clothes’, how to explain the revealing of the body lines?” he said. Same month Gülsüm Özen was not surrendered to oppressions of society like “you are a widow women, sit at home” and she became a kickboxer champion in Turkish Open. In 2018, the struggle of women against the discriminative mentalities that trying to exclude women from social life, and sexist discourses are continuing.
Flormar workers are not alone
Along with the economic crisis affecting everyone, 2018 has been a year in which the struggle has increased for working women.
In May, 120 workers in Flormar, majority of whom are women, were fired because they became members of trade union. In spite of the resistance, which has become one of the greatest resistance in the country and continued during 2018 with the motto of #
These economic pressures are not only taking place at Flormar
According to DISK’s (Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey) January employment report:the number of general unemployed is 3 million 274 thousand. It has been announced that women’s unemployment is 14 percent and young women’s unemployment is 25.7 percent. In July, ILO announced that as of 2018, 606 million women could not participate in working life due to their obligations of care.
11 Million Women are not considered as Labor: According to TUIK (Turkish Statistical Institute), women are engaged in housework
In a report that TUIK prepared, women are not counted as even labor force, saying that they are busy with housework: 11 million women are not seen in the labor force in Turkey. In the Turkey report of GREVIO Committee, it is stated that Turkey’s struggle against violence is insufficient, protection system is unsuccessful, and activities of women’s organizations are restricted.
Finally, in December, World Economic Forum published the Global Gender Equality Report 2018. Turkey falls to 130st rank among 149 countries, dropping 25 spots in the last 12 years. Some of the countries falling behind Turkey are: Ivory Coast, Bahrain, Nigeria, Togo, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Jordan, Sultanate of Oman, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen.
General election ignored women too
While Protection Law No. 6284 was not applied effectively; concrete policies were not developed and necessary legal steps were not taken, the fact that women were also prevented from exercising their rights by relevant authorities appeared as another dimension of violence. In the election of June 24, one of the most critical elections in the country, 12,000 women staying in the women’s shelters were prevented from voting.
As a result of the election, there were only 103 women deputies in the parliament.
After the election, the first action concerning women and children with the newly formed government was merging the Ministry of Family and Social Policies and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in July. Against this, Women’s Assemblies made a statement emphasizing that ‘If there is no Ministry of Women, we are here‘.
The Ministry, with a new name which is Republic of Turkey Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services, held a workshop on October 12 in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice aiming to restrict spousal support for women. Although the study was suspended upon the reactions, in the last days of 2018, Minister of Justice Abdulhamid Gül said that they would start a study on indefinite alimony and an arrangement would be made to please everyone.
During 2018 317 women, in December 27 women sustained sexual violence
The rate of sexual violence in attacks against women does not diminish . Women are trying to protect themselves against this violence in their own way. Sexual violence takes place mostly in public areas, on the streets and in public transport. At least 142 of the women were exposed to sexual violence in public areas, particularly by men they did not recognize.
In February, 52-year-old F.K, a civil servant in the Grand National Assembly, was seen by another employee while harassing a young female trainee who was a high school student. An investigation was launched against the person, and it came to light that F.K. was harassing the young women for 4 months.
In July, 18-year-old Bahar Dogrul asked for help by explaining the violence she suffered by her father on social media.
A woman has been subjected to sexual harassment and abuse by her father for 10 years since she was 15 years old. In November, the father’s letter of love to his daughter was found by the mother and as a result of her delation the father is arrested for sexual assault. The lack of trust in the law and the continuation of social oppression against women cause all kinds of violence to be able to continue for 10 years.
It has been seen in 2018 that despite all the pressures women notify that they have been subjected to violence and reach to more people, trying to find a solution. Particularly in the last days of December, 3 women tried to make their voice heard on Twitter. Since the necessary measures are not taken or taken as missing, women are trying to be protected by using social media as a tool and they are not staying silent.
440 women in 2018, 45 women in December were killed by men, misogynist practices continue.
In 2018, 440 women were killed by men. While the state was expected to take concrete steps against violence against women and child abuse:execution, eunuch and amnesty came on the agenda. In spite of our objections that these are not solutions, society has been dragged into more violence.
“Alimony Arrangement” was added to the misogynist law work while women were stripped of their rights every day, fired from their jobs, violated, killed and not protected. This legislation, which will make women more vulnerable, especially in the family, will lead to an increase in violence against women and femicide. Such misogynist practices are one of the most important factors in the increase of femicide.
105 of the women were killed with the pretext that they have wanted to make decisions about their own lives, 16 of them killed because they wanted to divorce:131 are suspected deaths and also 134 unidentified women were murdered.
The provinces where most of the women were killed in this year:64 in Istanbul, 24 in Antalya, 23 in Bursa, 19 in Izmir, 15 in Adana, 13 in Gaziantep and 12 in Konya.
6284: The password of women
Women who have been murdered in 2018 either did not have any protection or cannot be identified. 6284 Law on Protection which is the biggest solution to the violence against women and went in effect with the help of the women organizations’ perennial struggle, is not enforced effectively. If the primary adjudications of 6284 have been enforced effectively, including 1-month punishment to the attacker in order to protect the woman who has been violated, providing shelters to women:providing new identity to women etc., today women would have been alive. It is not a coincidence that in 2011 which is the year that 6284 went in effect there was less femicide than ever. On the other hand, we see that in 2018 which can be accepted as the law itself is being threatened, the murder rates are at the highest level. This year women have been in the streets shouting as “6284 is the security blanket for women” against who claims that 6284 is the law which “wrecks families, makes houses empty”.
In June, in Sirnak, Esra Kosker aged 32, has been murdered by his husband Vehbi Kosker just because she wanted to get a divorce. Esra Kosker had a protection order.
In Istanbul, Ergul Isenc who has demanded protection recurrently has been injured by H. I., because she wanted to get a divorce.
Suspicious deaths have been increased in comparison with last year.
In 2018, the news regarding women who have been found near the lakes or roads have become widespread. In 440 women who have been murdered this year, 130 deaths have been recorded as suspicious and the offender could not be identified. The reason to that is encouraging individual armament, the raise of weapon employment and no concrete precautions taken against murders of women and we evaluated these murders as part of suspicious deaths.
In November, in Istanbul, Esenyurt for the death of Ferya Ozturk it has been claimed that she has jumped out of the balcony of her boyfriend’s house. However, it has not been solved that whether it is a suicide or a femicide.
In Zonguldak, on November 20th a women corpse has been found near the lake who is still unidentified.
In December, Ayten Adiguzel Deligozoglu has been murdered by the man she is married to, in front of their children. The criminal used the common lie and said that “she committed suicide”.
The age range of femicide decreases, young women strengthen the fight
The age range of women who were killed has decreased this year. In 2018, 59 women between 15-25 years old were killed. Women stood up to violence in high schools, universities and workplaces.
17 years old Aylin Kekik, who lived in Burdur, was stabbed then choked to death by her boyfriend.
17 years old Ecem Balcı was lost for 43 days then she was found buried in a forest in Sakarya in February, 2018. Ecem was killed by her mother’s husband through Islamic-marriage.
Mustafa Yeğin, who was found guilty of murdering Helin Palandöken in her school with the pretext that Palandöken had rejected his offer to become friends , was sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment.
Through the fight in 2018, many women had the opportunity to learn about feminism. It was observed that the majority of women who made an effort to comprehend the fight and decide to be part of it were those studying at university. Female students founded Kadın Meclisleri (Woman’s Assemblies) at their universities, and consequently more women got to become an active part of the fight.