Is Germany jealous of Turkey?

Turkey: Another woman murder - an old problem

Brutal excesses of violence against women are part of the sad everyday life in Turkey. But hardly any woman murder caused such outrage as the murder of the 27-year-old student Pinar Gültekin. The woman from the southwestern Mugla province was apparently beaten by her ex-boyfriend in an argument and then strangled. Then he tried to burn the body in a nearby forest, the confessor reported to the police. When that failed, he hid the body in a garbage can and poured concrete over it. The police had tracked him down thanks to surveillance images from a petrol station, showing how he is loading cans of petrol into his car. He gave the police jealousy as the motive for the crime.

According to the "We Will Stop Femicide" initiative, 27 women were murdered in Turkey this June alone. There are also 23 deaths in which murder is suspected.

In several cities - especially in the west of the country - activists used the murder of Pinar Gültekin as an opportunity to demonstrate for more protection against violence against women. At a demonstration in the metropolis of Izmir, the police intervened unexpectedly. When the officers arrested some demonstrators, there was a riot.

Police violence during a peaceful demonstration

The participant Arzu Sert told Deutsche Welle that she had been exposed to violence by the police while in custody: "We first gathered in front of the cultural center in the Alsancak district to give a press statement. When we started the protest march, the police suddenly caught up with us We were then illegally detained, beaten and mistreated. "

Women's rights organizations fear further setbacks in protecting against violence against women

Lawyers and lawyers expressed their horror at the violent police operation in Izmir. It is a fundamental right and freedom to demonstrate peacefully. Lawyer Zeynep Tepegöz criticized the police for behaving illegally: "The events in Izmir indicate that the police used excessive force. There is no justification for pushing demonstrators on the ground and beating them."

Several women's rights organizations emphasized that the violent police operation on Tuesday was symptomatic of the entire social problem. They point out that many women sought protection or complained to the police before they were murdered. Melek Önder from the initiative "We will stop feminicide" told DW that police officers, the government and state officials should do more to protect women: "There are cases in which victims were exposed to violence dozens of times, but nothing happened. Nobody hears their screams. "

Erdogan's compassion pure hypocrisy?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his condolences on the news service Twitter: "Yesterday we were overwhelmed by pain when we learned that Pinar Gültekin had been murdered by a villain. I curse all crimes against women."

Women's rights activists consider such statements to be implausible, especially because the Turkish government has recently positioned itself against the so-called Istanbul Convention. The Council of Europe Convention of 2011 aims to curb violence against women, especially domestic violence, and to strengthen equality between men and women. Turkey was the first country to sign the treaty and legally enshrined it as the "Law to Prevent Violence Against Women and Protect the Family".

The activists see the implementation of the Istanbul Convention as an important means of effectively preventing violence against women. The signatory countries undertake to create appropriate framework conditions, but in practice the legal norms of the Istanbul Convention are not applied. The planned offers of help and protective measures for women would also not be implemented. At the demonstrations this week, the agreement adopted nine years ago was again a central theme.

Enemy of the Istanbul Convention

But it is not just obvious that there is a lack of implementation. Because strictly religious forces see the Istanbul Convention as a threat to Turkish traditions and customs, the agreement is also repeatedly torpedoed publicly. In May, for example, the women's representative of the Islamic conservative Saadet Party (SD), Ebru Asiltürk, described the contract in a newspaper article as "a bomb for the family structure". The contract endangers "the financial and moral integrity of the family". The agreement conflicts with Article 41 of the Constitution, which legally stipulates the "protection of family unity". Asiltürk concludes that the termination of the contract is "the only solution".

Asiltürk received support from many users on social networks: opponents of the Istanbul Convention spread the polemical message on Twitter that the Convention was just an attempt by the West to infiltrate Turkey.

A political will to fight violence against women in the long term cannot be determined on the part of the Turkish government either. Incidents like the one in Izmir this week happen regularly: on November 25th, around 2,000 women gathered for International Day against Violence against Women in Istanbul to protest against feminicide - even then, the police broke up the event with tear gas and rubber bullets .