Interior Minister Soylu tells Turkish men to 'get it together' amid increasing violence against women, femicide cases

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has told Turkish men to "get it together" amid the increasing number of violence against women and femicide cases. "What are you trying to prove? Which sentiment of yours are you trying to satisfy?" he asked.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu is seen in parliament in this file photo.

 Duvar English 

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has called on Turkish men to "get it together" amid the increasing number of femicide and violence against women cases in the country. 

"I'm calling on men: Get it together. You may be physically strong, but it's shameful," Soylu said on Nov. 23. 

"What are you trying to prove? Which sentiment of yours are you trying to satisfy?" he added. 

Women in Turkey either get killed, sexually abused, or beaten every single day and the laws fall incredibly short in protecting them. Men get detained and arrested often after intense social media campaigns, but many crimes go unreported. 

Impunity prevails in femicide and violence against women cases, with men getting away with their crimes. Their sentences get reduced due to "good conduct" and courts often question whether women "provoked" the attacks or gave consent to sexual crimes.

In August, the government discussed whether it should withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty that's a pillar of legal protection against domestic violence and violence against women. 

Again in August, a Turkish court released a specialized sergeant one week after he was arrested over raping an 18-year-old woman in the southeastern province of Batman. 

Musa Orhan was arrested on Aug. 19 following public outrage over the death of İpek Er, a Kurdish woman who died on Aug. 18 a month after committing suicide because of Orhan's sexual assault.

He remained behind bars only six days, in a move that many say is an example of the policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP and Soylu, who often threatens his opponents. 

Women are also prevented from protesting against violence and impunity handed to men, with police battering them at almost all protests and demonstrations, including on March 8 International Women's Day. 

Soylu on Nov. 23 also said that 234 women became victims of femicides this year as of Nov. 20. 

"The number was 308 last year. There is a 24 percent decrease but even a single case is too much," he said, while also claiming that 90 percent of the women who were killed in the first six months of 2020 didn't file complaints. 

Some 304 women were killed in 2016, 353 in 2017, 279 in 2018, and 336 in 2019, Soylu said, while asking, "Where did this trend of beating and killing women come from?" 

"I want to say that it doesn't suit our education and understanding. We need to solve this issue since our religion also commands us that as well. We can't make up excuses. The number [of femicides] that can make us happy is zero and we are the ones who can do that," Soylu said.