Police arrested a man on Sept. 17 for kicking a woman in the face on a bus.
The 35-year-old unnamed man, who reportedly shouted, “Those wearing shorts must die,” confessed to kicking 23-year-old Aysegul Terzi because of what she was wearing.
“The shorts she was wearing were not appropriate. That’s why I was angry and behaved so,” he told police, according to the Dogan News Agency, which reported he had previously been diagnosed with manic depression.
Terzi, who works as a nurse, sustained severe bruising during the attack, which was caught on the bus’s closed-circuit television system.
However, despite the evidence and confession, a Turkish court released the suspect Sept. 18 on the grounds that he had committed no crime.
The court decision should not be too surprising, considering that Turkey has a terrible record regarding the treatment of women, as Al Jazeera reports. The murder rate of women in that country increased by 1,400 percent between 2002 and 2009. Some 28,000 women were assaulted there in 2013, primarily by their spouses. Almost half of Turkish women are reportedly physically abused.
The methods of abuse are numerous, ranging from pushing women off balconies to setting them on fire. One woman was buried alive by her family for listening to music they didn’t like, notes Al Jazeera.
“There is no point in asking what kinds of violence we see,” said a spokesperson for a Turkish women’s rights group, explaining that a better question would be: “What methods are not used?”
According to the rights organization Mor Cati, “Men turn to violence in order to establish their domination or when they feel it is threatened. Murder is one of the most horrific consequences of this violence. … Although we don’t have official statistics, the news in the media indicates that no less than three women are murdered by their husbands, boyfriends or their ex-partners every day.”
A United Nations report notes that violence against women in Turkey is closely tied to “the concept of honor with women, women’s sexuality and the control of women.”