Spiral of gender violence in Turkey!

As the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is approaching, the reports on violence against women in Turkey show that women are pushed into the spiral of violence.


News Center-Violence against women in Turkey has become a phenomenon that ignored by the government ignores and openly inflicted even on the streets. The reports on violence against women released by independent organizations show that more women are subjected to violence in Turkey every day. Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, the failure to implement the laws protecting women, the failure to take protective measures and many other reasons cause gender-based violence to be a part of life.

Men killed at least 280 women in Turkey the first 10 months of 2022, according to the report of the We Will Stop Femicide Platform (Turkish: Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu- KCDP). Men killed at least 299 women in the country in 2022, according to Jinnews, an all-women news agency. The number of women who died under suspicious circumstances increases day by day. While the report released by the KCDP said that at least 202 women died under suspicious circumstances in 2022, Jinnews reported that at least 190 women died under suspicious circumstances in 2022. Getting an official data on violence against women in Turkey is impossible because no official reports are prepared about the number of violence against women.

The approach of Derya Yanık, the Minister of Family and Social Services, on violence against women is known by everyone. The minister previously announced that violence against women in the country was “tolerable”. “Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention did not mean the country was taking a step back from tackling the elimination of discrimination against women. This did not affect their decision to combat violence against women,” she said in a statement. Derya Yanık thinks that effective policies have been implemented during the rule of the in the fight against violence. Have effective policies been implemented in Turkey to eliminate violence against women? The reports on violence against women in Turkey show that women are pushed into the spiral of violence.

Reports on femicide in Turkey

According to 2021 reports on femicide, men killed 311 women and 181 women died under suspicious circumstances in Turkey. In the first 10 months of 2022, at least 299 women were killed by men. In 2022, most women were killed for making decisions on their own lives.  In a country where marriage is promoted and the family is seen as sacred at every opportunity, women are killed for asking a divorce in order to get rid of violence against them. The killers of women are usually their partners, husbands and relatives. In 2022, 136 women were killed by their husbands. 161 women were killed at their homes, supposedly the safest places for them. 40 women were openly killed in public areas. 152 women were shot to death.

How are women protected?

Turkey’s Family and Prevent Violence against Women (No. 6284) regulates the measures to be taken to protect women and children. It grants many rights to women, including promoting women’s economic empowerment, take the necessary measures to protect women from violence. The law was passed in 2012 after Turkey signed the Istanbul Convention. After Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, many discussions have been made about this law. There is a law protecting women in the country; however, it cannot protect women. According to the figures on femicide, at least 15 women were killed in 2022 although they had had protection orders.

3.5 million women downloaded KADES

Turkey’s three ministers introduced the action plan for 2022 entitled, “Zero tolerance to violence against women and domestic violence”. Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in his social media post, “We cannot tolerate even a murder of a woman. Unfortunately, the number of femicides, which was 166 in the first seven months of 2021, increased to 158 in the first seven months of 2022.”

Süleyman Soylu also announced the number of women who downloaded the Women's Emergency Support Application (KADES), a mobile app offering services in Turkish, Persian, Arabic, English, Russian, French, German, Spanish, Kurdish, Uzbek, and Kyrgyz. “The app has been downloaded by 3,478,641 women. The implementation of electronic bracelets has been expanded across Turkey for police to take action before perpetrators approach the victims of violence.”

Number of women’s shelters

As women are left unprotected in the country, the number of women’s shelters is insufficient. There are 112 women’s shelters in the country, according to the Ministry of Family and Social Services. The Directorate General for Migration Management has three women’s shelters with the capacity of 90. A NGO has a women’s shelter with a capacity of 20. The municipalities run by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) had women’s shelters; however, the government appointed trustees to these municipalities and women’s shelters were shut down by the state-appointed trustees.

State violence

Another issue recently discussed in Turkey is the state violence. In 2021, the Human Rights Association (IHD) received many applications from prisons about violence against women in prisons. Women prisoners still announce that they are subjected to strip search, torture and mistreatment in prisons. Women, who are detained in protests, are also subjected to strip search, violence and mistreatment. Particularly, women activists and journalists are subjected to violence by security forces.

Turkey is the country with the highest rate of women subjected to physical or sexual violence by men among the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). According to the latest data of OECD, the rate of violence against women in Turkey is 38%. This means that almost 4 out of 10 women have been subjected to male violence in their lifetime.