Violence against women in Turkey is constantly on the rise, taking an alarming toll as reflected in the latest figures. According to official numbers of Provincial Police Directorates and prosecution offices, more than 26,000 women all over Turkey became the victims of murder, injury, attacks or threats during the first six months of 2011.
Applications for a program established by the Ankara Bar Association to provide free legal support to these women are being submitted in great numbers, as reported by Milliyet newspaper. Metin Feyzioğlu, President of the Ankara Bar Association, said that more than 4,000 phone calls were taken within four months and that applicants came from all sorts of different social backgrounds. While the flood of incoming phone calls cannot be counted any more, Feyzioğlu drew attention to the fact that only eight percent of all victims of violence applied to an official institution.
400 applications were made in person to the centre. Feyzioğlu noted that 350 of them were assigned to lawyers.
He explained the process after the women have called the country-wide number 444 43 06: "As soon as the application is made, an official vehicle comes and picks up the woman. First of all, an expert lawyer listens to the woman at the so-called central command centre. The plan for legal support is being made there. Possible actions are being explained and the consent of the woman is being given. After that, the lawyer at the command centre calls another voluntary lawyer who is going to take up the legal struggle. We are being supported by a total of 300 lawyers".
Another aspect of the dimensions of domestic violence against women are their countless requests for police protection. Since a corresponding amendment of the Law on Protection Services, the number of requests for police protection made by women who were treated violently has greatly increased. This caused a series of problems due to lack of preparation. Part of the problem stems from the fact that the General Police Directorate has not defined the details of the application yet, it was reported. (YY/VK)
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