Turkish academic 'burned to death by ex-partner'

Turkish academic 'burned to death by ex-partner' amid rise in femicide
2 min read
30 December, 2020
Aylin Sozer was reportedly stabbed and burned to death by her ex-boyfriend, who is now in police custody.
Aylin Sozer was a lecturer at Istanbul Aydin University [Twitter]
A Turkish female academic was burned to death this week, allegedly by her ex-partner, local media reported, the latest femicide in the country rocked by increased violence against women in recent years.

Aylin Sozer, a lecturer at Istanbul's Aydin University, was reportedly held hostage in her apartment by her former partner before she was murdered.

The academic's neighbours alerted the police after smoke began to fill the apartment building on Tuesday. Sozer was pronounced dead at the scene, with reports indicating her throat was slit before she was set on fire.

Kemal Delbe, reportedly Sozer's ex-boyfriend, was detained by police at the scene in connection with the lecturer's death. 

The horrific killing is the latest in a rising number of femicides in Turkey, where a woman is reportedly killed by someone she knew almost every day.

At least 285 women were killed by men to date this year, according to the We Will Stop Femicides platform, with another 97 murdered by unknown perpetrators.

The feminist platform recorded a record 474 murders of women by men last year.

That figure marks a sharp increase from 2011, when 121 women were killed. By 2017, that figure was 409, while 440 were killed in 2018.

Among the dozens of women killed this year in Turkey were Busra Guzem Guzelsoy and her mother Gulya Barutcu, who were allegedly shot dead by Guzelsoy's ex-partner in October after she filed a restraining order against him. The suspect died by suicide during a stand-off with law enforcement following the killings.

Women's rights activists have accused the Turkish government and law enforcement agencies of failing to protect women from violence.

Those complaints have been compounded as the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials mull Turkey's withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, more commonly known as the Istanbul Convention.

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