Pregnant teenager stabbed to death in Turkey

Pregnant teenager stabbed to death in Turkey as women continue anti-violence protests
2 min read
28 March, 2021
The 17-year-old's death comes as Turkish women continue to protest against the country's withdrawal from an anti-violence treaty.
Sezen Unlu was five months pregnant [Twitter]
A pregnant 17-year-old died in Turkey this week after being stabbed 16 times by her husband, local media reported.

Sezen Unlu's death comes as Turkish women continue to protest against the country's withdrawal from a treaty to combat violence against women.

The teenager was allegedly stabbed to death on the street by a 24-year-old man identified as Anil Y in local media reports.

Unlu and Anil Y were married in a religious ceremony but had been living separately for three months before the alleged murder.

The murder suspect had previously assaulted Unlu, her father told Cumhuriyet, prompting the couple's separation. 

The family had filed a criminal complaint against Anil Y but he remained free.

"If they had arrested him, my daughter would be alive," Serdar Unlu said.

Unlu was five months pregnant at the time of her death.

The suspect was arrested by Izmir police after fleeing the scene.

Anil Y admitted to the alleged murder, the Demiroren news agency reported, claiming he killed Unlu out of "jealousy".

'We will not give up'

On Saturday, thousands of women took to the streets of Istanbul, demanding the government reverse its withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence.

Ankara announced its withdrawal from the treaty last week, prompting outrage at home and condemnation abroad.

"We will not give up. We will be here until we get our freedom and our convention back. We will not give up on the convention," student Selin Asarlar Celik told Reuters.

Turkey does not keep official records of femicides but figures collected by monitoring group We Will Stop Femicide show murders of women have sky-rocketed over the past decade.

At least 87 women have been murdered or died under suspicious circumstances so far this year, according to We Will Stop Femicide.

Protesters say the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention will further endanger Turkish women.

The Turkish government insists women will be protected with domestic laws.

Ankara withdrew from the treaty over what it called the "normalisation of homosexuality" and the undermining of traditional family structures, despite being one of the first countries to sign it.

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