The Istanbul Bar Association has trained 4,000 lawyers to specialize in cases related to violence against women to help provide support for women who are victims of violence.
“A total of 4,000 lawyers have become specialized in how to deal with women who were subjected to violence,” Istanbul Bar Head Mehmet Durakoğlu told Anadolu Agency.
“The most vital point for us is to save lives at that point. We want to stop the process in which women are continuously subjected to violence and continue the case,” said Durakoğlu, who was recently elected as the head of the bar association.
Noting that they were conducting projects that had never been done before, Durakoğlu said they were continuing to develop new projects, including ones on women’s rights. He also said Istanbul led the list in terms of femicides due to its high population.
Durakoğlu also stressed the significance of the lawyers’ role in cases of violence against women, adding that they were expending efforts to separate female victims from assailants, send lawyers to the women and obtain a restraining order as soon as possible.
“We think that we are saving a lot of lives by carrying out these practices. We have a women’s rights center for which women who are victims of violence can apply,” he added.
Violence against women is a major issue in Turkey, and 35 women were killed in September alone while 44 others were subjected to sexual violence, according to a report released by the Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu, a women’s rights activist organization that keeps track of violence against women.
The 4,000 women now know how to carry out legal procedures and help women affected by violence, he said.
“We trained the lawyers on how to get the restraining order, how to make men who don’t comply stay clear from the women, what punishment should be applied to them and how to conduct the divorce proceedings for women who have been subjected to violence,” he said.
Durakoğlu said they prioritized the legal process before the procedures for a trial.
“We don’t tell the victim, ‘Go and bring us a paper showing that you are underprivileged.’ First, we deal with the problem. For instance, we get the restraining order, we go to trial. If the man violates the restraining order, we file a complaint and deal with the procedures afterwards. We don’t tell the women, ‘Go get beaten by your husband and, in addition, he will kill you,’” he said.