Turkey ral­lies to condemn the mur­der of Kur­dish girl

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Thou­sands of women in Turkey protested the mur­der of a young Kur­dish woman who al­legedly re­sisted an at­tempt by a bus driver to rape her. Po­lice dis­cov­ered the burnt body of Ozge­can As­lan, 20, in a riverbed in the city of Mersin, on Fri­day.

They have ar­rested three men in con­nec­tion with her death - a minibus driver, his fa­ther and a friend.

The Turk­ish Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter called As­lan's fam­ily to of­fer their con­do­lences.

Prime Min­is­ter Ah­met Davu­to­glu promised the fam­ily to hunt those re­spon­si­ble for the crime and pun­ish them.

As­lan, a psy­chol­ogy stu­dent, was kid­napped on her way home.

The driver al­legedly tried to rape her. She re­port­edly fought him off with pep­per spray, but was then stabbed to death. She was also hit on the head with an iron pipe.

The bru­tal­ity of the mur­der caused an out­cry across Turkey.

Thou­sands of women staged protests in sev­eral cities on Satur­day, in­clud­ing Ankara, Istanbul, and Der­sim - As­lan's home­town in south­ern Turkey.

In Istanbul, women ac­tivists held two sep­a­rate protests to show their anger at the mur­der.

Dur­ing the day, hun­dreds gath­ered be­hind a ban­ner that read "Enough, we will stop the mur­der of women!"

In the evening, the crowd got big­ger. Thou­sands of women of all ages and walks of life poured out to the streets.

A young woman, Bu­lay Do­gan, said As­lan's mur­der scared her.

"I'm afraid, be­cause the same thing could hap­pen to me or my friends. But on the other hand, I'm fu­ri­ous too. How can they [the mur­der sus­pects] be so reck­less to do some­thing like this?" she asked.

Also on the protests was a gen­der stud­ies aca­demic who would only give her first name, Zeynep. She thought As­lan's mur­der was of a po­lit­i­cal na­ture too.

"It is the re­sult of the rad­i­cal Is­lamic at­mos­phere cre­ated by the gov­ern­ment. The men say that women should be con­ser­va­tive. They think if they are not con­ser­va­tive, they de­serve this kind of vi­o­lence," she said. 'Soar­ing vi­o­lence' The rul­ing Jus­tice and Devel­op­ment Party (AKP) have its roots in po­lit­i­cal Is­lam and have been in power since 2002.

Women's rights or­gan­i­sa­tions say vi­o­lence against women has risen sharply in the last de- cade.

Last year alone, al­most 300 women were killed at the hands of men and more than 100 were raped, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal re­ports.

Sevda Bayra­moglu from Women for Peace Ini­tia­tive de­manded new leg­is­la­tion to pro­tect women from vi­o­lence.

"Men kill and rape and tor­ture women. The state, the ' men's state', is pro­tect­ing them. We ex­pect the par­lia­ment to stop this vi­o­lence," she said.

As­lan's mur­der may be­come a ral­ly­ing cause for ac­tivists seek­ing to end vi­o­lence against women in Turkey.

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