Violence against Women: Some Disturbing Recent Numbers

In Turkey, too many men still avail themselves to the defense once used by Turkish Arabesk star, Ibrahim Tatlises who said, in 1984, “I have the greatest respect for women, but I’ll still beat ’em.”

Ibrahim Tatlises in those days

Ibrahim Tatlises in those days

A recent study by a Turkish NGO and Kırıkkale University suggest that in the decades since a shocking number of Turkish men still feel that way.In the study, more than a third of respondents stated that violence was “sometimes necessary.”  28% believe that violence can be used to “discipline women,” while 23.4% believe it acceptable, if the woman “provokes it.”

In fact, news reports by PBS and the New York Times in the past year have suggested that violence against women is increasing in Turkey.

Clearly, successful prosecution of perpretrators is one part of the solution.  Amnesty is gratified that Turkey has ratified the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

But as Elif Shafak has highlighted, Turkey needs to be doing much more to provide shelters for victimsAmnesty notes that “domestic preventive mechanisms [remain] woefully inadequate [in Turkey] and the number of shelters [is] far below that required by domestic law.”

Howard Eissenstat
St. Lawrence University

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