Turkey: Istanbul Court Holds State Responsible for Failing to Protect Women from Violence

In late May, an Istanbul administrative court held Turkey’s Interior Ministry responsible for the murder of a woman by her estranged husband, ordering the Ministry to pay over $130,000 in compensation to the victim’s family.The husband stabbed the woman, Ayse Ince, 17 times outside her daughter’s school after she fled his abuse and filed for divorce. Before she was killed, Ms. Ince sought help from the police, the prosecutor’s office, and the courts on multiple occasions, but they did little or nothing to protect her. In its landmark ruling in favor of the victim’s family, the Istanbul court said, “[p]rotecting its citizens’ life and property is a fundamental duty of the state.”

According to Turkish advocates, in 2014, half of all women murdered in Turkey were killed by their husbands; most of these murders occurred shortly after the woman sought divorce or freedom. As reported by Al-Monitor, this new ruling sets a precedent that could “force relevant ministries to finally take the problem [of domestic violence] seriously and introduce tighter measures.”

Compiled from: Hurtas, Sibel, Turkish Court Makes Landmark Ruling on Women’s Murders, Al Monitor (June 12, 2015).