Hülya Atçı Nergis, a lawmaker from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has said the media is exaggerating femicides and other incidents of violence against women in Turkey to create a negative perception of the country, local media reported on Tuesday.
“In the United States, 12 in every million women become victims of male violence. The number in Turkey is only half that,” the MP said during a live program on a local TV network in Kayseri on Tuesday.
“In 2020, 300 women in Turkey were killed by men,” journalist Şeyda Aşatır reminded the MP.
“But the number of men who were killed in Turkey [in 2020] was 12 times that. We are only talking about women,” the deputy answered.
“The media is exploiting incidents of violence targeting women in Turkey. The outlets are covering them too much, it’s wrong. They create the perception that a large number of women are killed in Turkey as if that’s true. However, the statistics are obvious. In fact, incidents of violence against women in Turkey are fewer compared to other countries,” she added.
The MP’s remarks came after International Women’s Day, which was marked in Turkey at a time when the country is shaken every day by news of the death of a woman at the hands of a man.
Femicide has long been the main problem on the agenda of women’s rights activists in Turkey, with at least three women – Hanım Pınarlı (92), Fatma Kovan (26) and Reyhan Korkmaz (38) – being viciously killed by men in the country over the weekend.
A report published by Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a human rights defender and deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), showed an upward trend in cases of domestic violence in Turkey during the 18-year rule of the AKP, which has witnessed the killing of 6,732 women by men so far.
A large number of femicides and other incidents of violence targeting women in Turkey draw public attention to the inadequacy of law enforcement in ensuring that the perpetrators face legal consequences.