31 women killed by men in Turkey last month - rights group

At least 31 women were killed by men in Turkey in November, according to the latest monthly report from the We Will Stop Femicides Platform, a women’s rights organisation that monitors violence against women in Turkey.

Ten of the killers were the women’s husbands, while relatives killed another four, as did partners and former partners. The killers of 12 women remained unidentified, according to the report, which said that more than 25 percent of the women killed were under 35.

About a third of the women killed were not under any state protection at the time, while for 16 percent of the cases, courts had issued restraining orders against potential assailants. The protection provided by the government was insufficient, according to the organisation.

Zahide Oğuz is one the women who were killed despite the state protection. She was living in Istanbul and applied to the court for a divorce. She reported her husband to the authorities 12 times, yet authorities failed to protect her from being killed by her husband.

Since the beginning of the year, 238 women have been killed by men, a 22 percent decrease from last year, the organisation said. The 31 women killed in November marks a slight decrease from October, when 35 Turkish women were killed by men.

On Nov. 25, women’s organisations organised meetings across Turkey, for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. However, police intervened in many places with tear gas.

"The authorities show no determination to protect women, on top of it, decide to stop women marches," the organisation said. "Stopping people by force who want to stop the violence, increases the violence against women.”

The organisation also said the government should immediately take concrete steps against violence and gender inequality.

For years, women’s rights organisations in Turkey have sought to raise awareness about the increase in violence against women over the last decade. According to local reports, from 2003 to 2010, Turkey witnessed a 1,400 percent increase in violence against women.