Turkish President Gül orders inquiry into increasing domestic violence



President Abdullah Gül
In the face of a growing number of domestic violence cases, Turkish President Abdullah Gül on Tuesday ordered the Presidency’s State Audit Institution (DDK) to investigate all aspects of cases of violence against women and children.

The widespread problem of violence against women has been a contentious issue in Turkey. According to statistics, 105 women were victims of domestic violence in Turkey over the past six months. The most recent incident to cause a public outcry was the death of Tu?ba Özbek last Friday. Özbek had taken shelter at her parents’ home in ?stanbul’s Bayrampa?a district with her son Bu?ra after divorcing her husband. ?ükrü Ö., her ex-husband, set the house on fire, killing the woman, her son and her uncle, Demir Ali Batmaz. Claims that Özbek had filed a legal petition for protection with prosecutors 11 times because of the threats of her ex-husband have increased calls for a solution to the problems of victims of domestic violence.
The most notorious case of domestic violence is the murder of Ay?e Pa?al?. On Dec. 7, 2010, Pa?al? was stabbed to death by her husband after her pleas for protection were rejected by authorities. Pa?al?, who was beaten on a regular basis, became the symbol of domestic violence in Turkey.
This is not the first case in which Gül took action on high-profile issues. He has previously ordered inquiries into other controversial cases, such as the suspicious death of late Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader Muhsin Yaz?c?o?lu in a helicopter crash in 2009 and the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007.

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