Skip to main content

Marchers demand better protection for women in Turkey

By Jeremiah Bailey-Hoover, For CNN
Demonstrators on Sunday urged the Turkish government to be more accountable for violence against women.
Demonstrators on Sunday urged the Turkish government to be more accountable for violence against women.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Some carried mock coffins and wedding dresses as they marched in Istanbul on Sunday
  • Protesters urged government to be more accountable for violence against women
  • 2009 survey: 42% were physically or sexually abused by a husband or partner
  • Critics say Turkey has lapsed in implementing affirmative action for women

Istanbul (CNN) -- Hundreds of people in Istanbul called on Sunday for the Turkish government to be more proactive about protecting women from domestic abuse.

People in the crowd carried mock coffins and wedding dresses as they marched down one of the busiest pedestrian thoroughfares in Istanbul. Protestors also carried signs bearing the names and faces of murdered women.

Demonstrators urged the Turkish government to be more accountable for violence against women.

"We struggle with the government's laws because the government is the first responsible for the women's murders, because they don't protect," said Funda Koc, a 28-year-old teacher and activist.

"We want the government to make strict laws" against harming women, she said.

The organizers of the protest, the Platform to End Women's Murders, say women are murdered every day in Turkey.

According to a 2009 report released by the Turkish government, 42% of women surveyed said they had been physically or sexually abused by their husband or partner.

Turkey has adopted several progressive laws to protect women in the past 15 years, including the 1998 Protection Order against Domestic Violence. Reform of Turkey's Civil Code in 2001 gave women equal legal status to men in the family.

A constitutional referendum last September allowed for affirmative action in favor of women. But critics say the Turkish state has lapsed far behind in implementing these laws.

"Gaps in the law and implementation failures by police, prosecutors, judges, and other officials make the protection system unpredictable at best, and at times downright dangerous," Human Rights Watch said in a recently released report titled, "He Loves You, He Beats You."

CNN's Ivan Watson and Yesim Comert contributed to this report.

 
Quick Job Search