Turkey announces new laws to protect women from domestic abuse

Turkey Erdogan

Turkey TurkeyOn Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled a series of steps aimed at reducing violence against women, a year after withdrawing Turkey from a landmark European pact on women’s safety. The planned court reforms, according to Erdogan, will result in higher jail sentences for acts of “wilful homicide, malicious harm, torture, and ill-treatment” against women, as well as an increase in the minimum prison term for crimes or threats against former or present spouses.

According to Erdogan, continuous stalking would be punished by jail, and women victims of assault would be provided with free legal representation. Erdogan went on to say that abusers would not be eligible for reduced sentences until they “show tangible symptoms of repentance,” not merely good behavior during trials. Erdogan’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention last year sparked outrage and worldwide censure. A decade ago, Turkey was the first country to sign the treaty named after its largest metropolis.

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Some officials from Erdogan’s Islamist party have called for a re-examination of the accord, claiming that it is incompatible with Turkey’s conservative principles since it encourages divorce and undermines the conventional family unit. The pact has also been criticized for promoting homosexuality, according to critics. Despite withdrawing from the pact, Erdogan’s administration said that it remained dedicated to defending women.

According to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform, 72 women have been slain in Turkey since the beginning of the year. According to the organization, at least 416 women were slain in 2021, with dozens more discovered dead under dubious circumstances. The Turkish president stated that the measures will be presented to parliament for ratification soon.

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