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No justice for Turkish women who kill in self-defense

Turkish courts rarely offer leniency to women who have killed their husbands in self-defense, mostly because the women are too ashamed to recount tales of their abuse.
A woman raises her handcuffed hands during a protest in Ankara April 14, 2011. A group of female activists gathered to protest against the murder of women and abuse of children, and demanded state protection for those who face domestic violence. The partly seen banner reads: "We feel humiliated. What about you?" REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: CIVIL UNREST SOCIETY) - RTR2L7HN
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In Turkey, the killing of women has become a major problem. No less than 294 women were killed in 2014, and 60% of them perished at the hands of husbands and boyfriends, according to the We Will Stop Women Homicides Platform.

On the other side of the coin, there are also women who kill their husbands. No statistics exist on the issue, but several research papers are available. One such study, conducted in 2011 among convicted women, was written by myself, Ozlem Albayrak of Ankara University’s faculty of political sciences, and psychologist Alp Ardic. We interviewed 30 women who, jailed for murdering husbands or boyfriends, offered ample insight into the phenomenon. The findings were later published as a book whose title can be roughly translated as “At the End of the Rope.”

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