Turkish woman killed by ex-husband pressed charges 23 times 

Ayşe Tuba Arslan had pressed charges 23 times against her ex-husband Yalçın Özalpay before he killed her, Turkish daily Evrensel reported on Friday.

“I am receiving death threats from this individual. Will you help me after I am killed?” the 45-year-old mother of two had written in her most recent appeal to the court, Evrensel wrote.

The courts in Turkey’s central Anatolian Eskişehir province had dismissed five out of the 10 charges Arslan had pressed against Özalpay in 2019. For the charges that had been prosecuted, the court-issued restraining orders were not enforced by the police, the newspaper reported.

Yalçın Özalpay had attacked Ayşe Tuba Arslan with a meat cleaver on Oct. 11. Arslan had been in the hospital receiving treatment since then, until she lost her life on Nov. 25.

Arslan’s restraining order against Özalpay had been in effect on the day of the attack.

In a previous appeal to the public prosecutor, Arslan had said, “I fear for my life. (Yalçın Özalpay) follows me to work every day, I can’t go out alone. Despite the restraining order, he entered my home … beat me up and raped me.”

“Ayşe Arslan lost her life on the day we gave speeches on how we would prevent violence against women,” main opposition Republican People’s Party lawmaker Utku Çakırözer said in a parliamentary speech. 

“If the jail time the law called for had been implemented, Yalçın Özalpay may not have acted so freely and Ayşe could have still been with us today,” Arslan’s family’s lawyer Heval Yıldız told Evrensel.

Turkey’s law on preventing violence against women calls for mandatory jail time, ranging from three days to six months, for violations of restraining orders. However, women’s organisations say the law is not fully implemented by the police or state-run violence prevention centres.

From January to November 2019, at least 302 women were killed in Turkey, with 198 dying at the hands of intimate partners.

Turkey in 2011 became the first country to sign and ratify a Council of Europe convention on preventing domestic violence, but over 2,600 women have been killed in the country since 2010, and annual deaths have continued to rise.