Bianet continues keeping the tally on developments pertaining to the struggle on issues of violence, sexual harassment, rape and murder against women, the penalties incurred on the offenders and favorable and unfavorable court verdicts.
Action Plan to Combat Violence Toward Women
The Women's Status General Directorate of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies announced its 2012-2015 National Action Plan to Combat Violence Toward Women.
The plan envisages improvements in the legal framework, creating awareness and the transformation of public attitudes, strengthening the status of women and the provision of protective services, the offering of healthcare services and further collaboration between institutions.
Mor Çatı Women's Shelter announces its quarterly report
The Mor Çatı Women's Shelter Foundation announced its report for the first quarter of 2012.
A total of 384 women appealed to the foundation between January and April, and a quarter of them sought refuge in its shelter homes. A great majority of them, however, were denied their request due to lack of adequate space in the shelter homes.
Foundation officials also pointed out that the legislation of Law No: 6284 allowed women to seek protection from the state, but that the law was rarely put into practice as authorities failed to take adequate measures.
Officials in Denizli kick start new efforts to combat violence
The governor's office, the bar association and the municipality in the southwestern province of Denizli have decided to pool their efforts to initiate a new project to combat domestic violence. The Denizli Bar Association consequently established the "Center to Prevent Violence Toward Women and Family Members and to Serve Victims of Violence." The association also formed a group of 43 lawyers in connection with the project. The Denizli Domestic Violence Hotline is available at 0258 264 25 25.
11,000 news reports on abortion in two months
The issue of abortion retained its currency in the media, with some 10,942 news reports appearing in media outlets on the matter during the past two months, according to a study conducted by Medya Takip Agency Interpress.
A total of 7,291 news reports on the issues of abortion and caesarean section came up in nearly 2,000 national, regional and local newspapers and magazines, while columnists took up the issue for a total of 2,384 times.
The issues of abortion and ceasarean section also appeared 3,651 times in news reports and programs on over 40 national, regional and local broadcasting stations.
First Kurdish women's website goes online
Turkey's first ever Kurdish women's web journal "Feminkurd" kicked off in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
The website which employs only women is published in Kurdish and Turkish and features news stories, videos, caricatures and columns that pertain to women's issues.
A year long project established by Kurdish women from different professional backgrounds, including teachers, doctors, lawyers and students, FeminKurd has taken a significant leap forward in giving voice to women whom the media has largely ignored.
*Regulations, Parliamentary questions, legislation
New amendment on caesarean section comes into force
A new amendment on the employment of caesarean section in cases of medical necessity entered into force on July 12 after it appeared on the Official Gazette. Certain claims appeared in press reports throughout the month of July regarding the death of some infants due to the insistence of some doctors to deliver them through regular means, however.
First Violence Prevention Center to open in Bursa
The Ministry of Family and Social Policies started working on the establishment of a Violence Prevention and Monitoring Center (ŞÖNİM.) These centers are to issue decisions to take women subjected to violence under protection and transfer them elsewhere if necessary. ŞÖNİM is also designed to provide psychological support not just to women and children who are victims of violence but also to those who employ violence, too. ŞÖNİM is scheduled to kick off within the next month in the northwestern province of Bursa.
Special prosecutors to oversee cases of male violence
The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office assigned two prosecutors specifically to oversee the mounting cases of domestic violence. The authorities are also planning to establish a "Bureau of Domestic Violence Offenses" due to the high frequency of case files they keep receiving.
*Who said what?
"I believe female deputies wearing headscarves will be able to serve [in Parliament] after the next elections," said Assoc. Prof. Zeynep Karahan, a deputy of the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) from the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa and the head of a Parliamentary sub-commission called "The Role of the Media in Gender Equality" under KEFEK ("Equal Opportunity for Women and Men Commission.")
Mikael Gustafsson, the head of European Parliament's Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, said women should have the say over their own bodies, during a visit to KEFEK by a delegation from the European Parliament.
*A court in the northwestern province of Bursa decided to release K.A., 27, pending trial after he sexually harassed his cousin H.A., 18. The prosecution had requested 12 years of aggravated imprisonment for him.
*E.Ö., a Prime Ministry inspector, was put on trial with a demand for up to 15 years of imprisonment after he subjected his wife and aunt to violence. Authorities also provided escort guards for the two women.
*The indictment against police officer N.K. came through in Istanbul. N.K. is to stand trial with a demand for between six months to three years of imprisonment after he raped a woman under custody.
*The Second High Criminal Court in the central province of Kayseri convicted a man who kidnapped and raped a woman, as well as two other men who stood on watch during the incident. The rapist himself was sentenced to five years in prison, while the other two suspect received two years and six months in prison on charges of sexual assault. The 14th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals also ratified the verdict.
*The Supreme Court of Appeals' Criminal General Council in Ankara ratified a local court verdict against M.S.K. to convict him only on the charge of "intentional and premeditated murder" while reducing his sentence on the grounds that he was incited to commit the crime. M.S.K. had killed a man who took flight with his niece. The council thus narrowed the definition of what constitutes "honor killing."
*An Istanbul court ruled to turn down a divorce suit filed by N.S. against her husband A.S., a professor of physics at Koç University, with a demand for 242,000 Turkish Liras in compensation on the grounds he had subjected her to violence. The court issued its ruling four years after N.S. first filed the suit, arguing that the claims of the litigant party were "unpersuasive."
*A hearing in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak was adjourned to listen to the witnesses in a suit filed against S.T., 72, and C.K., 74. The two suspects were on trial for sexually harassing their neighbor's daughter K.Y., 16, for two years.
*The Ninth Criminal Court of First Instance in the Aegean province of İzmir applied to a higher court to merge the two files on torture and the spoliation of evidence in the case of Fevziye Cengiz during the hearing on Tuesday. Three police officers are stading trial in the suit in relation to footages from the İzmir Karabağlar Police Department that later surfaced in the media and which show the officers in question beating Fevziye Cengiz after they took her under custody.
*Muhittin Özücoşkun was sentenced to six year in prison in Istanbul in connection with the dubious death of his ex-wife Gülay Yaşar.
*T.C.B., 23, appeared in the First High Criminal Court in the southern province of Adana and issued his plea with respect to the allegation that he choked his girlfriend Tuba Genç, 19, to death on the street. "She said she had an abortion; I do not remember the rest," he said in court. The court delegation consequently requested an autopsy to determine whether she did have an abortion or not and to ask the municipality if they had received an application for a wedding.
*Primary school dean Fahrettin Kuzu was sentenced to 46 years and eight months in prison in a suit concerning the sexual abuse of four female students by multiple men in the southeastern province of Siirt.
*M.Y. was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in prison after she killed her husband who used to subject her to violence in Istanbul. The prosecution had requested life-time imprisonment for her.
*The Bursa Fifth High Criminal Court sentenced M.İ., 53, to one year and eight months in prison, after it reduced his penalty down from two years of imprisonment due to "good conduct." M.İ. was standing trial for sexually harassing N.T., 28, who was an employee of the court herself. M.İ. was also sentenced by the Fifth Civil Court of First Instance to pay 8,000 Turkish Liras in compensation.
*The Second High Criminal Court in the central province of Kayseri sentenced M.U. to 15 years in prison for raping his mentally disabled neighbor Ü.G.
*An İzmir court sentenced Z.D., 45, to 20 years in prison, arguing that she had committed the crime under "grievous provocation." Z.D. had killed her husband Mehmet Dönmez with a shotgun because he had beaten after coming back home drunk eight months ago.
*A judge in the Ankara Eighth High Criminal Court got a man charged with sexual harassment to kiss the hand of his victim. The woman consequently withdrew her complaint.
*The Third Criminal Court of First Instance in the Black Sea province of Samsun decided to put E.Ç., 43, on trial in a high criminal court after he injured his wife's face with a knife.
*The First High Criminal Court in the southern province of Antalya ruled to arrest N.A. pending trial after he kidnapped and raped a girl eight years ago. (ÇT)