Turkish Inequality

Anti-femicide memorial in Chile, Author En.el.cielo.con.diamantes, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/kamelia/2055714461/ (CC BY-SA 2. 0 Generic)

Women in Turkey have rallied in large numbers due to concerns that country may withdraw from the Istanbul Convention [1].  The Convention deals with systemic violence against women, and the state’s role in preventing domestic abuse.

Citing the erosion of family values and traditional gender roles, a small but determined group has lobbied Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to withdraw the country.  What seems behind the effort is an anti-Western sentiment, and the desire to revoke gender-based protections.

Turkey has a long history of femicides, the killing of women and girls by men because of their gender [2A].  Even with the Istanbul Convention in place, 417 Turkish women died as the result of domestic violence last year.  Thus far this year, 205 have been killed.

The murder of 27 y.o. Pinar Gultekin by her former boyfriend ignited the Turkish women’s protests [2B].  Anti-femicide protests have, also, taken place in France, South Africa, Mexico, and Chile in recent years.

Meanwhile, Poland, Serbia, and Croatia are considering abandoning the Convention.

Biblical View

Violence by men against women is widely documented in the Bible.  But it is something the Bible condemns.

“Scripture is full of condemnations of violence – time and again violence is associated with wickedness and condemned as ‘detestable to the Lord’ (Psalm 11, Proverbs 3 & 10).

In particular, violence against women is condemned.  In Jewish law, rape was viewed as equivalent to murder (Deut 22:26), as was pressuring a woman physically (Deut 22:25–27) or psychologically (Deut 22:28–29) into sex….

We never see the word ‘abuse’, but the term ‘oppression’ (meaning crushing or burdening someone by the abuse of power or authority) is everywhere. The Psalms in particular portray oppression in a manner that echoes the way abuse survivors describe their abuser:  ‘His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.’  Psalm 10

God is on the side of the oppressed and abused (Psalm 56).  The scriptures clearly express God’s desire for a dramatic transformation of society for those who are burdened, marginalised, or unjustly treated (Luke 4:18-21; Proverbs 14:31; Matthew 9:13; Mark 3:4-5)” [3].

This is a flawed and imperfect world which means we must work all the harder to establish justice.

[1]  CNN, “Turkish women rally against domestic violence as ruling party contemplates leaving key rights convention” by Gul Tuysuz, 8/5/20, https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/05/europe/turkey-gender-protests-istanbul-convention-intl/index.html.

[2]  DW, “Turkey’s long history of femicides” by Daniel Bellut, 7/24/220, https://www.dw.com/en/femicide-rates-turkey/a-54311038.

[3]  Safer Resource, “The Bible on domestic family violence”, https://www.saferresource.org.au/the_bible_on_domestic_family_violence.

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23 Comments

Filed under Abuse of Power, Christianity, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Justice, Law, Rape, Religion, Violence Against Women

23 responses to “Turkish Inequality

  1. Thank you for writing about this. There is so much abuse being carried out on our beautiful Earth, everyday I read or witness more horrors being done to women, children and sometimes men. I am repulsed at the way the world is progressing. It becomes a confusing state of affairs when we have women who are striving for protection from abuse they are being forced to endure to those who seek it as a means to earning money this has become acceptable where I live and there too many women soliciting men everywhere, I am repulsed by it all.

  2. Anna, atrocities abound globally, whether it be against people of color, children, or women. Far more devastation has occurred than any plague or pandemic could ever create. I am praying for the all good lives to have equality in 2021. Blessings, dear friend.

    • You are so right, Lance. Scripture tells us the human heart is deceitful above all things (Jer. 17: 9). Only God can replace our hearts of stone w/ hearts of flesh. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36: 26). Blessings to you, dear friend.

  3. It’s important to be aware of the suffering and injustices that others experience – and to speak up for them wherever possible. We are very blessed to live in a world where we can vote, where we have the rule of law, where justice is taken seriously, and where we have a voice that we can use – and which is listened to.

  4. I agree with your take on the Biblical view of oppression against women. I am grateful for your advocacy. God bless you, Anna.

  5. Wondering what Poland, Serbia, and Croatia have in mind. Has it something to do with their proximity to Turkey?

    A change in heart, a change in attitude, behaviour, and if many individuals experience these, a collective change in culture. All the more we should be spreading the gospel of the Lord. And when He returns, Christ himself, with his iron sceptre will govern the world with righteousness and justice–glory be to God! Bless you, Anna.

  6. This is very important and I believe it has much to do with education or lack of education, and of placing these practices as part of the culture and elevating such horrific crimes to being tradition. To break that cycle the population needs to be educated and given the proper examples, not just in Turkey but everywhere. Thank you Anna for a very good and needed post.

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