Turkey registers 26 femicides in September - report

At least 26 women have been killed by men in Turkey in September, according to news website Bianet’s monthly Male Violence Monitoring Report. Some 70 percent of the murders were committed by current or former intimate partners, and another 30 by relatives or acquaintances of the victim.

By the end of the first nine months of the year, a total of 234 women have been murdered by men, Bianet said on Wednesday.

Men also killed at least four children and raped five women in September, the report showed.

Violence against women and femicide remain serious problems in Turkey.

Compiling data from local and national newspapers, Bianet keeps account of the male violence against women in the country since 2010 on a regular basis.

According to Bianet’s reports, at least 2,836 women have lost their lives to male violence between 2010 and 2020. Bianet recorded its highest annual number in 2019, with 328 women killed by men.

At least 65 women were subjected to male violence, 13 children faced sexual abuse, and 78 women were forced into sex work, the September report found.

In July, Turkey formally withdrew from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed an executive order on March 19.

The move came after months-long debates, with pro-government conservative and Islamist groups arguing against the convention, saying that it undermined Turkish family values and promoted homosexuality.

Thousands took to the streets in protest in the following months, and several appeals were filed with the Council of State by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), bar associations and women’s organisations. The appeals were rejected.

Advocacy group We Will Stop Femicides (KCDP) found that 10 women were killed for wanting a divorce or rejecting the perpetrator’s advances. The motives for the murders in the remaining 16 cases were not made public in the reports, they found.

KCDP recorded an additional 19 deaths under suspicious circumstances for the month of September.

“The Interior Ministry, instead of announcing how many women were killed by whom, or where, how and why they were killed, distorts facts in saying the data for femicides is collected wrong,” KCDP said in their report.

Turkish government does not make publicly available any data on the killings of women.

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