Skip to main content

Have AKP's policies caused rise in violence against women?

Although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed solidarity with the victim’s family, the Justice and Development Party insists on useless populist policies on women’s issues.
A Member of Turkey's Bar Associations holds a poster depicting slain Ozgecan Aslan, in Ankara, on February 16, 2015 during a march to protest against a law that strenghtens the police's power. Anger mounted in Turkey Monday over the murder and attempted rape by a bus driver of the 20-year-old female student whose burned body was discovered on February 13, as a court placed three suspects in pre-trial detention over the brutal killing. AFP PHOTO/ADEM ALTAN        (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Gett
Read in 

The BBC reported on Feb. 17 that her name had been tweeted 4.6 million times. Ozgecan Aslan was not even 20 years old when she fell victim to a brutal murder. She was a college student in the southern town of Mersin in Turkey. While returning home from class on the afternoon of Feb. 11, the minibus driver attempted to rape her. She did as Minister of Family and Social Policies Aysenur Islam had recommended: women and children in distress should “learn to scream.” Aslan screamed, fought and used her pepper spray against her attacker. There are scratch marks on the murderer’s face. He got mad at her for resisting the assault and stabbed her with his knife. According to him, she was not dead when he called for help from his father and a friend, both of whom complied. Things then only get worse. It is not just murder, but the attempt to get rid of the evidence by cutting off Aslan's hands and burning her corpse. Reading the detailed accounts of the murderers, one cannot help but feel deep sorrow, embarrassment, fear and fury.

In September 2014, Al-Monitor reported that between 2003 and 2010, there had been a 1,400% increase in the number of slain women in Turkey.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.