Ozgecan Aslan, a 20 year old undergraduate psychology student in Mersin, south Turkey, went missing on 11th February 2015. She got on a minibus to go home from university. She was attacked and raped by the bus driver and two other men, stabbed, burnt and then her body was thrown in the bushes.

We, the Iranian &Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation stand in solidarity with Kadin Cinayetlerini Durduracagiz Platformu, an initiative with a mission to stop murdering of women in Turkey and a number of other organisations and call on the Turkish government to bring those responsible for the murder of Ozgecan to justice and to deny them reduced sentences. We demand that the government complies with the “Istanbul Convention”. Turkey was the first country to sign the Istanbul Convention that brings a number of protective measures to safeguard women and girls. However violence against women and girls in Turkey has dramatically risen in recent years and the perpetrators usually receive light sentences.

Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s current president from the AKP Party in a recent speech stated that “men and women are not equal”. A number of ministers and government advisors from the ruling fundamentalist AKP Party, have also made similar derogatory comments about women’s role in society. We. along with women activists in Turkey condemn these public statements made by those in power which contribute to the rise of sexual attacks and rape and augments violence against women and girls in Turkey.

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