A total 126 women were killed by men in the first five months of 2023 in Turkey, the We Will Stop Femicides Platform reported, while 101 women were found dead under suspicious circumstances over the same period.
The platform’s General Secretary Fidan Ataselim told daily Cumhuriyet that the number of suspicious women's deaths has been increasing.
“According to our data in recent years, while femicides continue at a certain rate and increase after the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, the number of suspicious female deaths are increasing much more than femicides. A large amount of femicides may be hidden in suspicious death data,” Ataselim said.
She added that “Women who fall from a certain height and are found dead had absolutely been accompanied by a man. Murder is concealed by making it look like suicide. Every doubt needs to be addressed. Let the truth be revealed in such a way that no one has a question mark in mind.”
In one of the cases, Şebnem Köker died suspiciously after falling from the third floor of a hostel and the defendant Timuçin Bayhan was acquitted.
The father of Şebnem Köker, Abdullah Köker, said “Before the prosecutor went there, the dead body was removed from the crime scene. The case is closed without the police investigating. A policeman called us and said ‘Your daughter jumped down from the third floor saying I love you.’ Where did he get this information? A cop cannot make that comment on his own. If there was a dead man in this case, this wouldn't have happened. Damn being born in this country as a woman.”
Turkey has made moves in recent years to lessen protections for women. In July 2021, the country formally withdrew from the Istanbul Convention (the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence), a move that advocacy groups say was a major setback for women in the country. Turkey was the first country to sign the Convention back in 2011.
Some 334 women were murdered by men in 2022, while 245 women were found dead under suspicious circumstances over the same period, according to the We Will Stop Femicides Platform.