The "Draft Bill to Protect the Family and for the Prevention of Violence against Women" was approved by the General Assembly of the Turkish Parliament on Thursday (8 March).
The assembly dealt with the draft law in two sections. The first section contained measures such as seizing weapons or applying electronic tags or wrist bands for people who resorted to violence.
Also forced prison sentences for people with court injunctions about them were included in this section.
Furthermore, this section comprised the allocation of a place in a day-care centre for women who were exposed to violence and who have children. Another regulation concerned the change of the woman's ID and other documents in case the life of the protected person is in danger.
Some amendments were decided during the debate at the General Assembly.
One of the amendments allowed for following up of restraining orders by technical tools and equipment upon the decision of a judge.
However, this does not include interception of conversations, observation and recording. This measure will be restricted to determining the whereabouts of a person and to keeping up with it electronically.
The debate on the second part of the draft bill was finished quickly.
Observations and requests of deputies
The session was chaired by Mehmet Sağlam, Vice President of the parliament, and saw a number of speeches given by the deputies.
During the debate of the first section, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Batman Deputy Ayla Akat Ata pointed to the women's problem as a problem of human rights. She emphasized that a joint will had to be developed on the issue of violence against women.
Meral Akşener, Deputy Chairwoman of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM), expressed her wish for a Turkey without violence and harassment where men would not insult each other because of women.
Republican People's Party (CHP) Balıkesir Deputy Ayşe Nedret Akova mentioned figures related to the representation of women and said that Turkey still had a long way to go in this aspect.
During the second half of the debate, BDP Istanbul MP Sebahat Tuncel said this draft bill was important to be passed into law even though they did not agree with certain parts.
CHP Bursa Deputy Sena Kaleli stated that violence was not being perceived as a problem of one special area anymore and that it was being continued as state policies all over the world. Kaleli thanked Fatma Şahin, Minister of Family and Social Policies, for her good intentions and said that the Council of Ministers had not been able to protect the draft bill (in its original version).
Erdoğan Bayraktar, Minister of Environment and Urbanism, added that 84 women shelters in Turkey had the capacity to accommodate 1879 women in total. (YY)