Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Turkey for days of protest about violence against women and ministers have called for the death penalty to be reinstated, following the brutal attempted rape and murder of a 20-year-old student
Ozgecan Aslan's burned body was found in woodland after she tried to resist a sexual assault by minibus driver Ahmet Suphi Altindoken who then stabbed and clubbed her to death. Three people have been arrested in connection with Miss Aslan's death and protests have continued throughout Turkey for three days. Her death has caused outrage in Turkey where women are frequently killed at the hands of violent men and are seen as having a lower status - a few recently inflamed by comments made by the Turkish president who said that women were not equal to men. Protesters took to the streets in their thousands bearing placards of Miss Aslan and Turkish women shared their stories of harassment and violence on Twitter using the hashtag #sendeanlat (you tell your story). The 20-year-old was the only passenger left in a minibus driven by Altindoken, who changed the route of the bus when the other passengers got off and attempted to rape her. When she resisted him and used pepper spray, he killed her. Altindoken then returned to Tarsus to find his father Necmettin Altindoken and friend Fatih Gokce to help him dispose of her body. All three are being held at different detention centers in Turkey. They burned the body in a wooded area in a bid to hide the evidence but the corpse was found by police. Altindoken has confessed to the murder, saying that he had stabbed Aslan and then struck the fatal blows with a crowbar after seeing that she was not yet dead. The murder has also caused outrage among ministers and the public and has been compared to the reaction after the gang rape and brutal assault of Jyoti Singh in Delhi in 2012, who later died of her injuries. Turkey is already battling shocking levels of violence against women. According to the Platform to Stop Violence Against Women activist group, 294 women were killed by men in 2014. The situation is not helped by the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Erdogan, who declared in November 2014 that women were not equal to men.