Mother of femicide victim burns daughter’s wedding gown in protest

A mother has set the wedding gown of her daughter who was murdered by her ex-husband ablaze in Turkey’s southern Mersin province. She burned the dress in protest of femicides, and warned young women to “think 20, 30 times before marriage.”

Duvar English

Hatice Kurt, mother of femicide victim Mervegül Bayer, on March 9 set her daughter’s wedding gown on fire to protest femicides in Turkey’s southern Mersin province. Bayer was murdered by ex-husband Mustafa Yıldır. 

Kurt mourned her daughter as the wedding gown went up in flames. “It all started with this dress, and it ends with the dress,” she said, according to reporting by the Demirören News Agency (DHA). 

She wanted her protest to be a lesson for young women. “Think 20, 30 times before you get married. Think hard, do not let anyone make you suffer,” she cautioned.  

Kurt urged young women to ask for help if their husbands abused them. “A bad person will not change into a good one,” she warned them.

Her daughter had asked her to burn the wedding dress, saying all the trouble began with it. 

“Let this wedding dress be a warning, it did not bring any fortunes to my Merve. Now it is her burial robe,” the bereaved mother said. 

Bayer divorced police officer Yıldır one year ago, after suffering in an abusive marriage. Yıldır on March 6 cut her off in the street and shot her in the head. He later killed himself at the scene. 

Mervegül was 31 years old. 

Friends and family said they had been trying to keep Bayer safe, afraid of this very possibility. 

Some 315 women were murdered by men in 2023 in Turkey, while 248 women were found dead under suspicious circumstances over the same period, according to the We Will Stop Femicides Platform.

Some 64 percent of them were murdered by the men they were married or partners with, or men they have divorced.