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Why women are calling for Turkey's only female cabinet member to resign

The Turkish minister of family and social affairs' description of a domestic violence uptick as “tolerable” is seen as emblematic of government efforts to underestimate gender-based violence and femicides in the country.
Derya Yanik

Ever since she took office in April as part of a mini cabinet reshuffle, Derya Yanik, Turkey’s minister for family and social affairs and the only woman in the cabinet, has been causing a stir among rights activists, from women’s groups to children rights advocates. The last straw came when the minister was quoted as saying that the increase in gender-based violence in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 was “tolerable” — a remark that sparked protests calling for the minister’s resignation outside her ministry’s local branches in Istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakir May 25.

Speaking at a parliamentary commission tasked with studying the root causes of domestic violence May 20, Yanik said, "The number of violence cases against women was 19,582 in January 2020, which increased to tolerable levels in February and March [21,457 and 22,022, respectively] and showed a significant drop in April.”

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