A total of 3,000 children, 800 of whom are younger than three years old, are currently locked up in Turkish prisons alongside their mothers, according to a report released by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu, who is also a human rights lawyer.
Tanrıkulu unveiled the report titled “Women Rights Violations in Turkey” ahead of the March 8 International Women's Day. He said that 17,000 women are currently behind bars in the country.
The report also included several rights violations committed against women. It pointed out that 6,732 women had been killed at the hands of men in the last 18 years, under the reign of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Police attempts to reconcile relationships in which women are beaten show how domestic violence is trying to be “normalized” in the country, the report said.
Authorities' failure to carry out effective investigations in the face of domestic violence, reduction and postponement of sentences given to perpetrators “show how weak is the state will to eliminate violence against women in Turkey,” it said.
The report also addressed gender inequality in Turkey, saying women in the country face wage discrimination and earn much less than men. “The wage inequality between women and men is widening day by day. The wage gap which was 12 percent in 2016 increased to 20.7 percent in 2019,” it said.
Tanrıklu also listed suggestions on how rights violations against women can be prevented, emphasizing the need for effective implementation of the 6284 Law to Protect Family and Prevent Violence against Woman as well as the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention.
Turkey led the way in ratifying the Istanbul Convention, which prioritizes gender equality, but the government is mulling a possible withdrawal from the treaty.
The Council of Europe body which monitors the Convention’s implementation calls on Turkey to abolish practices that discriminate against women, saying the root cause of the violence is gender inequality.