Divorces down, domestic violence killings up in 2017 Turkey

Divorces rates are at a low in Turkey, news site Haberler quoted Family and Social Policy Minister Fatma Betül Kaya as saying, but a campaign group said domestic violence was still on the rise.

“Divorce rates are at their lowest numbers in six years,” Kaya said. “Of course, this is an issue that is in our ministry’s field of work.”

Among her ministry’s anti-divorce initiatives were a pilot project of pre-marital education, which she said would be expanded in 2018.

“We aim to reach much lower (divorce) rates,” Kaya said.

Another pilot project put electronic tracking devices on abusive spouses, she said, and this had now spread to six different provinces.

The issue appears to be becoming worse, with 409 women killed by male relatives in Turkey in 2017, the “We Will Stop Femicide Platform” were reported by pro-government English-language newspaper Daily Sabah as saying.

This compared to 237 women killed in 2013, 294 in 2014, 303 in 2015 and 328 in 2016, the paper said.

“(A) lack of implementation of anti-violence laws by law enforcement and lack of coordination between different government agencies are often cited among the primary deficiencies in regard to the state in the issue,” the newspaper said, saying that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had promised a new action plan in November.

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