A Turkish man who walked free from jail regardless of murdering two wives has been arrested for killing his third spouse in a case that activists say starkly illustrates how the Turkish authorities fail to guard girls in danger as femicide remains rampant within the nation.
Final week police discovered the physique of Mutlu Menekse, 48, in a decrepit constructing within the western province of Manisa and rapidly detained Necati Akpinar as the only suspect, appearing on a tip-off from witnesses. In his questioning by police, the 58-year-old confessed to fatally hitting Menekse within the head with a blunt object throughout an argument, officers from the Manisa Bar Affiliation who comply with the case informed Al-Monitor. The person described Menekse as his spouse, the sources mentioned, although the couple had had solely a spiritual marriage ceremony ceremony, a follow widespread however not formally acknowledged in Turkey.
The case triggered public outrage and despatched girls’s rights activists up in arms because it emerged that Akpinar had already been sentenced to life twice for murdering two spouses in a row. He and Menekse had reportedly begun to dwell collectively solely a couple of month earlier than.
Akpinar’s story speaks volumes of why femicides stay rampant in Turkey regardless of the introduction of authorized measures to guard girls through the years. Akpinar was granted launch on probation in 2020 underneath a legislation to scale back jail populations in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was capable of profit from the legislation as a result of he had been transferred to an open jail, the place well-behaved inmates are typically held, whereas serving his second sentence. He had stabbed his second spouse to dying after injuring her with a sizzling iron in 2003, in response to Turkish press experiences. Solely three years earlier, he had walked free underneath an amnesty legislation after stabbing his first spouse to dying in 1984.
Simply days earlier than Menekse’s homicide, a mom of three was fatally shot in Ankara by her ex-husband, who had equally benefitted from conditional launch in the course of the pandemic whereas serving a sentence for home violence.
Ladies’s teams had campaigned fervently towards the pandemic-related launch of perpetrators of violent crimes towards girls, however to no avail. Worse, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pulled Turkey out from the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe settlement to fight violence towards girls, in 2021, though femicide and home violence stay urgent issues within the nation.
Greater than 300 girls have been killed in Turkey in 2022 by their spouses, companions, exes or male family members, in response to a tally by the We Will Cease Femicide Platform, a civic group devoted to combating violence towards girls.
Lawyer Hulya Gulbahar, a distinguished girls’s rights activist, lamented that Menekse and different slain girls could possibly be alive at this time had the federal government heeded the calls towards such prisoner releases and caught to the Istanbul Conference.
The conference, for example, requires that victims of home violence and family members in danger are knowledgeable when a perpetrator is launched from jail, amongst different safeguards for ladies. “That’s why we are saying that the Istanbul Conference is about holding girls alive,” Gulbahar informed Al-Monitor.
Canan Gullu, head of the Ladies’s Associations Federation of Turkey, pressured that Turkish legislation lacks the idea of gender-based violence, which hampers efforts to fight male violence towards girls. “That’s why offenders get away with their crimes, benefitting from numerous loopholes within the penal system, simply as within the homicide of Mutlu Menekse. Her assassin killed twice and walked free to kill for a 3rd time. And we all know he’ll stroll free once more sometime,” she informed Al-Monitor.
A key drawback, critics say, is that the authorities usually fail to behave effectively the primary time a girl experiences abuse or to correctly implement protecting measures. In a placing instance, Beyza Dogan, a 16-year-old from Istanbul, was shot useless by her stalker in August regardless of 35 complaints and a restraint order towards the person. Equally, 52-year-old Hulya Sellavci was shot useless by her husband in Izmir, western Turkey, in October, although she had lodged 4 legal complaints about being threatened after submitting for divorce.
The Istanbul Conference, activists say, confirmed a manner for the authorities to enhance their response, although its implementation remained uneven within the decade that Turkey was celebration to it.
In a darkish irony, Turkey’s prime administrative court docket issued a remaining ruling upholding Ankara’s choice to withdraw from the conference on Monday, the day Menekse was laid to relaxation in her hometown.