More than 6,500 women murdered under Erdoğan’s 18 year rule – report

A total of 6,732 women have been murdered in the 18 years since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power, according to a report prepared by opposition lawmaker Sezgin Tanrıkulu, news website Karar reported on Sunday.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Tanrıkulu’s report for International Women’s Day titled Women’s Rights Violations in Turkey also found that there were 800 babies staying in prisons alongside their mothers.

There are 17,000 women in prison in general, Tanrıkulu found, and 3,000 minors in total. Meanwhile, women’s shelters in Turkey don’t have enough capacity for even 10 percent of the country’s female population. Currently, there are 3,482 spots in all shelters in Turkey, including both occupied and vacant ones.

“The determination to eliminate violence against women is extremely weak in Turkey, as evidenced by the courts’ legitimising male violence via sentence reductions and postponements,” Tanrıkulu said in the report.

The report also found a gender pay gap of more than 31 percent in Turkey, while business-owning men make 77.3 percent more than their female counterparts.

According to a civilian initiative, the Anıt Sayaç (“Counter Monument”), at least 408 women were killed in Turkey in 2020. Since Jan. 1, Anıt Sayaç has counted 67 more deaths. The figures are derived from media reports and other public information as the family and interior ministries don't publicly announce femicide statistics.

The AKP won its first elections in Nov. 2002, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed to improve women's standing in the country since, although not much has reflected in concrete data. Groups among Erdoğan's supporters have called on Turkey to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, the colloquial name for the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, something the president has said he has considered.

Erdoğan's daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan was among those who were opposed to a total withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, which Tanrıkulu believes should be implemented better.

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