We hereby call upon international feminist and LGBTI organizations and individuals to support us in our demand, that the Parliament of Turkey hold an emergency meeting to address the rampant killing of women in Turkey.
We refuse to stand by and watch as increasing numbers of women and trans women are killed in Turkey, encouraged by a lack of preventive measures, lax laws, and the fostering of a social culture which normalizes violence against women and essentially negates the existence of women as individuals by prioritizing “the family” at all costs.
Help us to spread the word by disseminating our statement below, and help us to grow in strength by adding your signature to it. (You can send your signatures to email@example.com.)
Support out cause via social media (#StopFemicideInTurkey).
Make your voice heard by e-mailing and/or faxing members of parliament:
Prime Minister’s Office: +90 312 420 66 04, +90 0312 422 18 99 or +90 0312422 26 67, firstname.lastname@example.org
When a meeting was called on Monday, July 7, to address the issue of femicide in Turkey, 60-70 women, more than half representing women’s organizations, attended. By the end of the meeting we had agreed to organize a demonstration together. The result:
On the 20th of July we will take to the streets throughout Turkey to voice our outrage against the rampant femicide happening in Turkey!
Our call is to women and women’s organizations:
We invite everyone to organize demonstrations on the 20th of July in their own cities and neighbourhoods to protest the killing of women. This statement is open to the signatures of women’s organizations, feminist and LGBTI organizations, as well as to individual women and trans women. Please sign and help up spread the word.
FEMICIDE IS HAPPENING EVERYWHERE!
THE PARLIAMENT MUST HOLD AN EMERGENCY SESSION!
We hear about women and trans women being killed by their fathers, brothers, or sons, husbands they are seeking to divorce, partners with whom they are trying to break up, or their clients each and every week.
Women are killed by men every day as they attempt to make decisions regarding their own lives. The persistence of these killings is evidence of the patriarchal nature of the state, as the latter fails to take the necessary precautions to prevent them. Meanwhile, the existing legal system legitimizes and in fact encourages these acts of femicide.
While the male violence we are subjected to goes unpunished, and new policies condemn us to remain increasingly at the mercy of the institution of the family, we women are being killed each and every day.
If six men had been killed by women within the span of two days, the state would have sprung into action, meeting expectations that it take emergency measures.
Yet women are being killed in Turkey every single day.
And so we ask: With six women having been killed in merely two days, with the continuation of these killings threatening our lives in our homes, our workplaces, the street, in both the public and the private domain – in short, everywhere – where is the parliament? What is the parliament doing?
We demand that the parliament schedule an emergency meeting to tackle this issue!
We are taking to the streets in order to voice our outrage against the killing of women! We are taking to the streets, defying pressure to do housework or take care of the children instead! We are voicing our demands and making all the noise we can to get the parliament to hold an emergency meeting.
Because the results of your actions (and inactions) are apparent:
You stress “the family”: women are killed!
You remain silent: the killing of women is legitimized!
You speak of “unjust provocations”: our lives are put at risk!
Your values insisting on the protection of the family above all else are empty values. Your policies seeking to control and dominate women’s bodies, and your statements that act AS IF (!) they are battling male violence only serve to support and encourage this kind of violence. They support and protect the men who perpetrate this violence.
The state is responsible for femicide in Turkey!
We rarely see the Minister for Family, Ayşenur İslam, talking about women. We almost never see her speak on male violence, and when she does, she uses a language that normalizes femicide. The Minister for Family falsely declared that “Women are not killed when they are placed under protection.” Clearly, not only is she unaware of Law No. 6284, but she is also trying to “whitewash” her ministry of its responsibility with regards to the killing of women. Well, we have something to say to the Minister:
The state is responsible for the rampant femicide continuing in Turkey right now. With its legislative and executive structures that do not put the systematic killing of women on their agendas and do not develop effective mechanisms to combat it, with its judicial arm that gives “incentives” to men by lowering their sentences through “unjust provocation” clauses, the state is responsible for the killing of women.
The government is responsible for the killing of women in Turkey!
The government put the Law No. 6284 into effect with a huge publicity campaign. Yet this law has remained on paper only. We have seen how the same politicians who pride themselves on being the first signatories of the Istanbul Covenant in actuality have demonstrated zero political will when it comes to preventing femicide.
The mechanisms enabling Law No. 6284 to be put into practice have still not been set up, and the law itself is deeply degendered. In the face of women who are demanding prevention against and protection from violence, the courts, rather than undertaking proper procedure, simply issue uninformed copy-paste verdicts. We have something to say to this system which fails to combat male violence with effective methods. We have something to say to the patriarchal judicial authorities who dare to say things such as “what does violence have to do with murder?” The killing of a woman is the result of a process – a process that begins with a single slap, or a mere insult!
A mentality is currently being imposed upon us: from family centers to family lawyers and family doctors, individuals and institutions bombard us with the message that family comes before women, that women have essentially been replaced by the family. The family, within which women are subjected to violence, where their labour is exploited, and where they are killed should they seek to leave or escape, has come to function as a state institution, reflecting the patriarchal structure of the state itself.
Women’s shelters set up by the state are yet to develop into an effective “mechanism.” The existing Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (ŞÖNİM) either cause women to return to the environment where they have suffered violence, or leave women even more defenceless in the face of male violence.
Trans women and sex workers face discrimination in every aspect of their lives. They are constantly at risk of death. The police state not only remains silent in the face of violence against trans women and sex workers but forces trans women and sex workers to work under increasingly insecure conditions and imposes arbitrary fines upon them. This in turn legitimizes the violence and killings perpetrated against them.
We call upon the state, which thus far has sought to reduce femicide to a mere set of statistics, to finally perform its duty.
We demand that the parliament hold an emergency meeting to address the killing of women and trans women! We demand that in this meeting, the parliament formulate an emergency plan in line with the key conditions determined by women’s organizations as necessary for the prevention of these murders!
We know that if we come together, we have the power to prevent these killings. This is why we are taking to the streets, and shall remain on the streets, until parliament holds this emergency meeting to address femicide in Turkey.
On the 20th of July we shall take to the streets to voice our outrage against rampant femicide in Turkey! We shall be on the streets, defying pressure to do housework or take care of the children instead! We invite everyone to do the same wherever they may be! Let us make noise to force the parliament to hold an emergency session!