Feminist advocacy group Women Together Strong group gave a statement to press in the western Izmir province on Wednesday for Sakine Kültür, a 40 year old mother of five who was murdered in Silopi (Girkê Amo) earlier in the week.
“We will not forget you or those who back you,” the women said, addressing the suspected killer İbrahim Barkın, who is currently under arrest awaiting trial. “We will hold all of you to account, one by one.”
Men who kill women are protected by the state, the women said, demanding, “Real justice, not male justice.”
Kültür’s charred remains were discovered on the side of the road on Saturday. The suspect, Barkın, is affiliated with the Association of the Hearths of Special Operations, a far-right group that supports Turkey’s armed forces. He had volunteered to fight in Turkey’s cross-border operations against Syrian Kurds in 2020.
While in custody, Barkın confessed to torturing, sexually assaulting and killing Kültür.
Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chair Pervin Buldan on Tuesday said Barkın had connections to the International Defence Consultancy Corporation (SADAT), a private military contractor founded by a former chief military adviser to the Turkish president.
Wednesday’s protest also focused on other women who were subjected to violence by men who worked for state security forces.
One such man was Musa Orhan, a sergeant in the southeastern Siirt province who stands accused of raping 18 year old İpek Er, who later committed suicide. Orhan, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison last year, is a “rapist and murderer in uniform”, the women said.
Another man cited in the protest was Onur Gencer, who raided a HDP office in Izmir and opened fire, killing party volunteer Deniz Poyraz in the process. The women said Gencer was “a formally trained killer” who could enter the building due to support by law enforcement.
The women also chanted slogans in favour of the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty on combatting violence against women and domestic violence, that Turkey unlawfully withdrew from via presidential decree in March 2021.