Femicide shocks Turkey
The brutal murder of a woman by her ex-husband has caused a wave of outrage in Turkey. Ermine Bulut was stabbed to death on 18 August in front of her ten-year-old daughter. The murder was caught on video by a witness. After being threatened by her ex-husband, Bulut contacted the police on the day of the killing, but they apparently failed to take action. What is the cause of this extreme violence against women?
Society needs a shift in mentality
The problem of violence against women in Turkey mainly has its roots in the mentality, argues the conservative daily Karar:
“A large part of the population believes men have the right to be violent towards women. This essentially arises from the fact that the relationship between man and woman is seen as one of ownership. Men become violent because their wives want to divorce them or because they cannot tolerate their ex-wives re-marrying. ... This means that the only way to protect women from violence is through a radical shift in social value judgements. This has to happen through social mobilisation and calls for radical steps in the education system and the media. ... There also needs to be a revision of the religious discourse.”
TV series make light of violence
Turkish TV series are also coming under criticsm, Milliyet observes:
“Violence against women is not just a problem in our country. It exists all round the world and films are made about it everywhere. But when it comes down to it, it's all about the perspective. Our screenplays show that 'a woman's place is in the home' and 'the man can do everything, from loving to beating'. Then people say that this is 'the reality in our country'. ... As long as murderers of women are given the prospect of having their sentences reduced for good behaviour and we hear excuses like 'she shouldn't have gone out at night', and as long as the patriarchal perspective remains intact and the criticism of society and the justice system is directed at women, TV series will continue to reflect this.”