Turkish judiciary wants to ban women's rights organization "We Will Stop Femicide"

On Wednesday, June 1, 2022, the trial of the prominent Turkish women's rights organization "We Will Stop Femicide" began in Istanbul. This feminist INGO that acts as a platform with chapters in dozens of cities registers femicides, supports victims of domestic violence, demands justice for female victims of murder, observes court cases and organizes demonstrations for the re-ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

They are accused by the prosecution of "immoral behavior," fighting against "family structures," "organizing demonstrations," and "violations of morals." The platform is allegedly breaking the law by "promoting the disintegration of the family order under the guise of women's rights." The prosecution is demanding a ban on the entire organization. The prosecution cites a six-year-old angry letter from a man as evidence.

According to the platform's lawyers, the lawsuit is "politically motivated," the charges are not concretely substantiated, and facts are cited that are not crimes.

According to the Turkish government, the Istanbul Convention violates traditional family values. Conservative figures claimed that the convention leads to a higher number of divorces because it would encourage women to leave their husbands. The convention would also promote homosexuality and gender equality would not fit into Turkish culture.

President Erdogan wants Turkey to fight violence against women in its own way by imposing longer prison sentences for femicide and a reporting app for women in distress. "We Will Stop Femicide" has been asked to cease all activities.

What is an honour killing?

An honour killing is a murder in the name of honour. If a brother murders his sister to restore family honour, it is an honour killing. According to activists, the most common reasons for honour killings are as the victim:

Questions about honour killings

  • refuses to cooperate in an arranged marriage.

  • wants to end the relationship.

  • was the victim of rape or sexual assault.

  • was accused of having a sexual relationship outside of marriage.

Human rights activists believe that 100,000 honour killings are carried out every year, most of which are not reported to the authorities and some are even deliberately covered up by the authorities themselves, for example because the perpetrators are good friends with local policemen, officials or politicians. Violence against girls and women remains a serious problem in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Serbia and Turkey.

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