Turkey takes measures to tackle violence against women

The Turkish Justice Ministry has updated a 2015 circular to ram up its measures tackling violence against women, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Wednesday.

The updated circular orders the already existing Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women Bureaus established under Chief Public Prosecutor Offices to be spread across the country, Anadolu said. The measures aim to create a pool of prosecutors with expertise on gender-based violence, it said. 

The ministry said in the circular that the rising number of incidents of violence against women was not a result of insufficient legislation, but of problems in effectively applying the existing laws and regulations. 

The circular also contained detailed prosecution procedures in cases of violence against women. According to the circular, the investigation into these cases will not be directly transferred to law enforcement officers. Instead, prosecutors will order law enforcement officers to investigate the cases after taking detailed testimony from victims, it said. 

The authorities will take all measures to prevent leaks of materials related to the investigations to social media and will fully respect the right to privacy, it said. 

Some 406 women have been murdered by men in Turkey since the start of the year, including 49 who lost their lives in November, according to femicide watchdog Anti-Sayaç