We Will Stop Femicides Platform (KCDP), one of the largest women’s rights advocacy groups in Turkey, has received notification of a court case initiated against it to shut it down over alleged illegal and immoral activities.
“As of today, our We Will Stop Femicides Platform Association is subject to a closure case at court with unlawful and baseless claims of ‘activities against the law and morality’,” the group said in a statement released on Wednesday.
There were several complaints against the association, the KCDP was told by the court. “These claims consist of petitions that are based not on any concrete facts at all, but claims such as ‘dismissing the concept of the family and tearing down the family structure under the guise of defending women’s rights’. The case file also lists police records against our executives of investigations that have not resulted in court cases,” the group said.
Istanbul Directorate of Associations, under the Interior Ministry, filed a complaint at the chief public prosecutor’s office that triggered the case, KCDP Secretary General Fidan Ataselim told Artı TV.
“Beyond the law, [the court case] it has a political side to it,” Ataselim said. “With this, we can see what these authorities are spending their time on as we call for effective investigations of cases of violence against women and LGBTI+ persons, of femicides and hate crimes, and of deaths of women under suspicious circumstances.”
The court case against KCDP targets all women, the secretary said.
“This is an attack. This is a declaration of war,” Ataselim continued.
According to the women’s advocate, the case aims to quell grassroots objection to Turkey leaving the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention, in 2021 via presidential decree.
The KCDP has been keeping a tally of femicides in Turkey since 2010 and publishes monthly reports on its website.
Since the beginning of 2022, Turkey saw at least 110 women have been murdered by men, often family members or current or former intimate partners, while 2021 saw at least 419 femicides, according to the Monument Counter, an activist-run project that publishes information on “women who lost their lives due to domestic violence”.
Figures gathered by advocacy groups are incomplete as the Turkish government does not release to the public information on violence against women and domestic violence.