Woman seen as second-class citizens in Turkey, says femicide victim relative

Hacı Bozat, relative of femicide victim Seher Aktekin, has criticized the Turkish authorities for failing to prevent her murder, highlighting systemic issues in protecting women from domestic violence.

On 20 June, Seher (27) was killed by her husband, Bekir Aktekin, in Mersin in southern Turkey. Bekir Aktekin had recently been released from prison.

Bozat condemned the lack of effective measures against domestic violence. “Women are seen as second-class citizens,” he said. He stressed the urgent need for stronger protections and systemic changes to prevent further tragedies. Bekir Aktekin, who had a history of drug abuse and violence, including violence against his own son, had been released just days before the murder.

Bozat pointed to the leniency of the judicial system as a critical issue, noting that perpetrators often receive minimal sentences. “The system encourages such actions,” he said, urging women’s organizations to intensify their campaigns against this leniency. He expressed his frustration with the ongoing loss of lives and the pain inflicted on families, calling for immediate reforms.

Seher Aktekin was attacked by Bekir after he took her to a family property. He had a known history of domestic violence and drug offences, and injunctions had been granted against him three times to stay away from his family. But he was released from prison, and committed the murder six days later. Later Bekir was arrested and remanded in custody.

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