366 women raped or abused while in custody in the last 16 years in Turkey


 During the last 16 years, at least 83 women have been raped in custody while 366 women have been sexually assaulted, according to a new report published by the Legal Assistance Office against Abuse and Rape in Custody. 

The major part of the complaints was filed by women living in the East and Southeast of Turkey. According to the report, 45 of the victims are between 10-18 years. 

A total of 159 trials have been opened following the complaints since the foundation of the legal office in 1997, however a large number of women refused any legal procedure by fear. 28 of these cases were concluded at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and 16 other cases are pending trial.
The report also points the police as the most important responsible of most of the abuse. 266 assaults are reported to have been perpetrated by police officials, 96 by army or gendarmerie forces officers and 17 by special forces. 

Tip of the iceberg

Leman Yurtsever, one of the lawyers for the legal office, emphasizes that the number of complaints only reflect the tip of the iceberg, as number of women still prefer not to report the abuses because of psychological barriers. According to the report, a 14-year-old girl was the victim of an honor killing by her family members after being rape. Another woman’s family has made a declaration of death and pursues her. Two woman have committed suicide while another woman died from her wounds following the sexual and physical torture inflicted by the security forces. 



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