A Turkish man on Nov. 26 night took a woman as hostage at the historical Çiçek Pasajı (or Flower Passage) in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district, online news portal T24 reported.
The man, only known by initials L.E.Ö, went to a restaurant at the passage and started arguing with a woman customer he claimed to know beforehand. During the argument, the man took out his pump rifle and fired it up in the air. At this point, the man took the woman as hostage and did not let anyone come near them.
After the police were dispatched to the scene, they tried to persuade the assailant to put down his weapon and let the woman go.
The man eventually accepted to surrender and was detained by the police. Following the legal procedures at the Karaköy Police Center, he was dispatched to the courthouse.
When asked by reporters why he fired his weapon and took the woman as hostage, the assailant said: “For love.”
An eyewitness told reporters that the passage was very crowded when the incident happened. “We could not understand how it happened. All of a sudden we heard a gunshot from inside the passage, and then people started going outside. It was about 50-60 people inside,” said Onur Gümüşkılıç.
Femicide - when women are murdered violently, often by men - is at record highs in Turkey. According to the We Will Stop Femicides Platform, a Turkish NGO, 353 women have been violently killed in Turkey this year alone. Last year, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, that number was 410.
Turkey ranked 133 of 156 countries - 1 being the best – on the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Report, meaning women in only 23 countries on the list, including Yemen, Cote D’Ivoire, and Afghanistan, are in a worse situation than in Turkey.