Zeynep Bilgehan - ISTANBUL
Violence against women has been on the rise, but women have become more combatant, said Gülsüm Kav, the director of Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicides Platform), a women’s rights activist organization that keeps track of violence against women, stressing that as long as the laws in Turkey failed to protect women, violence against them would not stop.
“We’ve had a rough year. Women are the first to pay the price of violence, clashes and war politics. We have seen that from concrete data,” Kav told daily Hürriyet on March 8, adding that the number of femicides was constantly on the rise.
“However, we have seen that women have not remained silent against violations of rights. Together, they have reacted against attacks on lifestyles,” she said.
Some 30 women were killed in Turkey in February and the number was over 300 in 2016, which corresponds to nearly one femicide committed each day.
When asked why the number of femicides was not decreasing, Kav said the use of violent language and impunities granted to perpetrators were the main causes of femicides.
“In 2011, when laws were renewed, the numbers fell. When the laws weren’t implemented, femicides started increasing. Violent language and impunity have an effect on this. Most of the time, women get killed while trying to get divorced. The state should implement its duty and protect women,” she added.
Kav stressed that women had no other option but to resist.
Noting that despite the negative incidents women in Turkey experienced last year, she said there were positive incidents. She said seeing women resisting during the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been orchestrated by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), was “very significant.”
“For instance, we can take Ayşe Kurucu, who got divorced and traveled the world, as an example. She said being married to a jealous husband was like living in hell and that she felt liberated after getting divorced. July 15 was also very significant for women’s resistance. Women became the subjects of social events in their own neighborhoods,” she added.