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?Nightmare year" for women's rights in Turkey

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 28 Dec 2011 12:52 GMT
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By Lisa Anderson

NEW YORK (TrustLaw) - In the wake of a report that 160 women were murdered in Turkey in 2011 by male partners or relatives, some are calling for women at risk to be given free guns and lessons in how to use them.

The new statistics, released by the group We Will Stop the Murders of Women, paint a dire portrait of the state of women’s rights in Turkey, according to the Istanbul newspaper Today’s Zaman.

The report reveals that one in two of the 160 women murdered were killed "because they wanted to make an independent decision concerning their own lives".  Of these, 41 percent wanted to divorce or separate from their husband or partner, 32 percent were murdered due to jealously on the part of their husband and 16 percent were killed because they rejected a man’s advances.

Only 23 percent of the women who applied to the state for protection from domestic violence this year received such assistance, the report said.

Such stark statistics prompted Hayrettin Bulan, chairman of Sefkat-Der, a non-governmental group working for the protection of women, to suggest that "a last-resort solution to the problem may be to issue guns to women facing violence".  

Bulan added that his organization is already in talks with shooting ranges to arrange lessons for women at risk next year.

But Hulya Gulgahar, a prominent Turkish women's rights lawyer, disagreed. "To arm women with guns will create a whole different set of problems," she said.

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