Ozgecan Aslan: Turkey protests over Mersin woman murder
Thousands of Turkish women have protested at the murder of 20-year-old Ozgecan Aslan who allegedly resisted an attempt by a bus driver to rape her.
Police discovered the burnt body of Ozgecan Aslan in a riverbed in the city of Mersin, on February 13.
They have arrested three men in connection with her death – a minibus driver, his father and a friend.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and PM Ahmet Davutoglu called Ozgecan Aslan’s family to offer their condolences.
PM Ahmet Davutoglu promised the family to hunt those responsible for the crime and punish them.
Ozgecan Aslan, a psychology student, was kidnapped on February 11 on her way home.
The driver allegedly tried to rape her. She reportedly fought him off with pepper spray, but was then stabbed to death. She was also hit on the head with an iron pipe.
The brutality of the murder caused an outcry across Turkey.
Thousands of women staged protests in several cities on February 14, including Ankara, Istanbul, and Mersin – Ozgecan Aslan’s hometown in southern Turkey.
In Istanbul, women activists held two separate protests to show their anger at the murder.
During the day, hundreds gathered behind a banner that read “Enough, we will stop the murder of women!”.
In the evening, the crowd got bigger. Thousands of women of all ages and walks of life poured out to the streets.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has its roots in political Islam and has been in power since 2002.
Women’s rights organizations say violence against women has risen sharply in the last decade.
Last year alone, almost 300 women were killed at the hands of men and more than 100 were raped, according to local reports.
Sevda Bayramoglu from Women for Peace Initiative demanded new legislation to protect women from violence.
“Men kill and rape and torture women. The state, the <<men’s state>>, is protecting them. We expect the parliament to stop this violence,” she said.
Ozgecan Aslan’s murder may become a rallying cause for activists seeking to end violence against women in Turkey.
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