Zeitgeist Turkey | Episode 6: Why Turkey's recent parole law became some women's nightmare

In this week’s episode, Duvar English’s editor-in-chief Cansu Çamlıbel and pollster Can Selçuki are joined by journalist Mehveş Evin to discuss the grim consequences of Turkey's recent parole law for some women who fear that their abusive spouses might appear on their doorstep any time soon. They also analyze how women's rights are perceived by Turkish society in general and why more than half of the population think that women's problems are exaggerated.

Editor: Azra Ceylan

On April 14, a new piece of legislation, supported by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its alliance partner, the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), passed in parliament. This law, which was supposedly drawn up for preventing the spread of coronavirus in prisons, enable as many as 90,000 prisoners to be released, including gang leaders and robbers.

While journalists, lawyers, students, political figures are kept in prison, mafia leader Alaattin Çakıcı has already started to enjoy his freedom. HDP’s former co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş suffers from chronic diseases, writer Ahmet Altan is 70 years old, and journalist Aziz Oruç needs medical treatment, but they remain in jail. There are so many more similar dramatic examples.

Furthermore, convicts who were jailed for domestic violence and murders are now heading back home which poses great danger to their spouses and families. The Ministry of Justice puts convicts in buses and delivers them directly to their addresses. Many women across Turkey yet again have been fearing for their lives since the passage of the law.

This podcast was prepared with support from Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s Turkey Representation.