About half of the women applying to the "Purple Roof" association, that is 306, require immediate shelter because their lives are in danger.
The association said in a statement, "Numbers show that necessary steps have not been taken to combat violence towards women in Turkey. The circular published by the Prime Ministerial Office on 4 July 2006, entitled 'Actions to be taken in the struggle against violence towards women and children and in the prevention of honour killings' does not go beyond recommendations."
It further drew attention to the fact that if the relevant units do not implement preventative measures, there is not enough of a budget to put into place sanctions or precautions.
Eren Keskin, lawyer and former president of the Istanbul branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD), spoke at a panel entitled "Sexual violence of state origin", saying that it was much more difficult to deal with domestic and sexual violence than with violence in state institutions.
According to Aktan Uslu of the "Birgün" newspaper, Keskin said that women who suffered sexual abuse and rape were afraid to complain or report the crime.
Data of the "Purple Roof" association shows that there is only sheltered housing for 200 women in Istanbul, a city of around 15 million people. It is difficult to find concrete numbers on the number of shelters and their capacity. Officials say that there are 35 women shelters in the whole of Turkey. This is well below international standards.
The association points out that there are no support mechanisms for women who become homeless because of domestic violence. In the first six months of 2007, 42 of the applicants were homeless.
Of the women who applied to the "Purple Roof" Advice Centre, 45 wanted a divorce, 86 legal support, and 43 psychological support. Just as the violence these women experience can be deadly, it can also lead to permanent physical disability.
The violence that women experience also traumatises their children.
In addition, however, women complain about violence towards their children, about incest and about sexual abuse by neighbours.
Keskin founded a legal advice office for people who have experienced sexual abuse and rape. She says, "We have seen that it is very difficult for people to make complaints, even in structures that are against the state."
Nevertheless, Keskin points out that there is now at least a legal framework with which to work. The old Turkish Penal Code did not count abuse as a crime, did not recognise rape sufficiently and punished so-called "honour killings" more leniently. (GG/EÜ/AG)