AKP group deputy chair says she is threatened for defending law protecting women

Turkey’s ruling AKP group deputy chair Özlem Zengin has stated that she is being targeted and threatened for staunchly defending the Law No. 6284 to Protect Family and Prevent Violence Against Women and added that she is "tired of loneliness" for not getting enough support from her community. The move came after AKP’s possible new Islamist coalition partners demanded the annulment of the law to join the ruling alliance.

Duvar English

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) group deputy chair Özlem Zengin on March 17 said that she is being targeted and threatened for staunchly defending the Law No. 6284 to Protect Family and Prevent Violence Against Women.

Zengin told pro-government channel A Haber that “Our esteemed minister is making a statement, our esteemed president has made statements, but whenever I say something about this law, I become a target. I get hundreds of threatening messages on my phone. 6284 is of course debatable, the Istanbul Convention has been discussed a lot.”

“We need approximately 29 million votes for our esteemed President to be elected in the upcoming elections. At least 10 million of them are women. On such an important issue, is there any other issue that bothers women so much? We are so alone. I'm not expressing my opinions, I'm speaking for our group, but when we have a man executive who speaks for our group it's fine. When I speak, I am subjected to an inexplicably planned, regular attack,” she said.

Zengin pointed out that the opposition bloc Nation Alliance is more united on this matter and added “The Felicity Party (Saadet) opened the debate on the Istanbul Convention in Turkey. When you look at the Table of Six today, do they have a conflict when they stand side by side? (İYİ Party leader Meral) Akşener says that they will ratify the Istanbul Convention. There is not the slightest voice from the Felicity Party, there is a compromise.”

“The New Welfare Party can think whatever it wants on this issue, but is it possible for Family Minister Derya Yanık to make a statement on this issue without being in contact with our esteemed President?,” Zengin said.

She also said “I don't want to say anything about this law anymore. I am tired. I am also tired of loneliness, and I feel sadness when evaluating the situation our community is in. I didn't say the law can't be discussed. I wish we could discuss in a more humane and Islamic environment.”

Her remarks came after the Islamist New Welfare Party demanded the annulment of the Law No. 6284 to Protect Family and Prevent Violence Against Women to join the AKP’s People’s Alliance.

Some New Welfare Party executives even claimed that the AKP has accepted this demand.

However, AKP executives denied the reports. Family Minister Derya Yanık said that the Law No. 6284 carries utmost importance and will continue to exist. AKP deputy chair Binali Yıldırım said that during the AKP’s visit to the New Welfare Party on March 10, this issue never came up. 

Similarly, AKP group deputy chair Özlem Zengin said the Law No. 6284 is their “red line.”

The law to protect family and prevent violence against women has been accepted in Turkey on March 8, 2012. The purpose of this law is to protect the women, the children, the family members and the victims of stalking, who have been subject to the violence or at the risk of violence.

Islamists have been targeting the law, saying that it is being used by women to “slander men” and “push away their husbands from home.”