The numbers on violence against women in Turkey are not pretty. More than 40 percent of women have suffered from violence in their lives. Newly released police reports reveal that about 25 women apply for police protection every day in İstanbul alone. Saturday’s murder at a bakery in Bağcılar marked the fourth femicide in five days in İstanbul
In the first half of 2011, 20 women who had suffered from gender-based violence applied for protection. By December 2011, that figure had risen to 220.
The İstanbul Police Department established a special 100-member police team with the sole purpose of protecting women and handling gender-based violence cases. The team, established two months ago, has already received more than three times the number of police protection applications submitted throughout 2011.
The districts of İstanbul with the most applications for police protection are Küçükçekmece, Gaziosmanpaşa, Bağcılar and Esenler. İstanbul’s coastal counties and districts with smaller populations, namely the islands and Silivri and Şile districts, witnessed the fewest calls from women requesting protection from gender-based violence.
The murder of a woman by her brother over the weekend in Bağçılar was the fourth incident of femicide in five days in İstanbul. Yıldız Yardım, 26, visited a bakery inside a gas station with her boyfriend, Nedim Koç, 29, and friend Yasemin Koç on Saturday. As they were about to leave, Yardım’s brother Mevlüt Yardım spotted her and reportedly asked his sister, “What are you doing here with this man?” After an argument broke out between the two siblings, Yıldız Yardım tried to escape by getting back into the car. Her brother pulled out a knife and stabbed her in the heart, also injuring Koç’s neck. Yıldız Yardım died en route to the hospital and Yasemin Koç’s wounds were treated. Mevlüt Yardım turned himself in to the police.
Another woman was allegedly beaten by her husband’s uncle and aunt in İstanbul on Sunday. When Sinem P.’s husband’s uncle, C.P., with whom she and her husband live, insulted and threatened her after they had an argument, she filed a complaint at the police station. While on his way to the police station after being summoned by police, C.P. and his wife M.P. encountered Sinem P. and reportedly proceeded to beat her.
She was taken to the hospital, while C.P. and M.P. were arrested. In Antalya, a woman and her boyfriend were shot to death by her ex-husband on Sunday.
Ferit Önal killed his ex-wife, İnci Önal, who left him for a second time two months ago, and her boyfriend Hüseyin Ataç after following his ex-wife and finding them together.
As Turkey continues to struggle with violence against women, Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Şahin has begun personally involving herself in such gender-based violence cases. The trial of Hüseyin Civek, who killed his wife Selma Civek by stabbing her 22 times, has begun in İzmir. A request by Birsel Kurt, legal counsel for the ministry, for intervention by the ministry in the proceedings was accepted by the court.