A new report has concluded that 40% of women in Turkey suffer from violent abuse from a spouse or family member. The report, compiled by Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Policy, has not been published, despite having been ready for some time.
The global average of domestic violence against women is around 30%.
The report was obtained by the President of the Federation of Turkish Women's Associations Canan Güllü and submitted to the parliamentary Violence Against Women Commission. The findings were reported by the Turkish daily paper Today’s Zaman.
Violence against women in Turkey has skyrocketed since Islamist President Tayyip Recep Erdogan began ruling. According to the Turkish Ministry of Justice, from 2003, when Erdogan took power, until 2010, there was a 1,400 percent increase in the number of murders of women.
Last year there were at least 287 cases of women being murdered because they asked for a divorce.
This is despite Turkey’s legislation against honor violence. Instead of being killed by their families, women and girls are often forced to kill themselves instead when they are deemed to have brought shame upon their families. The families do not want to send a son to prison as well as killing a daughter.
This attitude is reinforced by the ruling elite.
Professor Aysel Çelikel, head of the Support for Contemporary Living Association, or ÇYDD, cited the root cause behind the alarming rise in violence against women saying, “Women’s rights are going backward as much as [Islamist] conservatism is increasing in society.”
In July 2014 Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said that women should refrain from laughing in public because it’s immodest.
In November 2014 Erdogan drew ire for his comment that Islam defines the role of women as motherhood, adding “You cannot explain this to feminists because they don’t accept the concept of motherhood.”
In 2010 he had gone much further, telling a delegation of women’s rights activists “I don’t believe in equality between men and women.”