Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Şahin has announced that, between the years 2009 and 2012, a total of 666 women were killed as a result of domestic violence.

Based on information from the Interior Ministry, 171 women in 2009, 177 in 2010, 163 in 2011 and finally 155 in 2012 died as a result of domestic violence, Şahin said on May 20, Anatolia news agency reported.

Şahin noted that this number included women killed not only by their husbands, but also by their relatives.

In response to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Hatay deputy Şefik Çirkin’s motion, Şahin said that cases of violence and death due to violence are being collected by the Justice Ministry’s National Judicial Informatics System (UYAP), the Interior Ministry’s Police Intra-net (PolNet) and the Gendarmerie General Command’s data system.

Still, civil society organizations argue that such official figures are not to be relied upon, since cases of domestic violence are notorious for being concealed by the family members or registered as suicide since on most occasions family members commit the crime themselves, or protect the relatives who do it.

Şahin has previously said that in the third quarter of 2012, some 4489 women suffering from domestic violence were reported to have sought shelter in state institutions. She also mentioned that for the year 2011, a total of 4195 women had sought shelter, in answer to a parliamentary question from main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Umut Oran.

Economic condition of family impacts divorce rate

In answer to another question on divorce rates, Şahin said that a detailed analysis of matrimonial disaccord was planned, on the basis of research conducted in 2008, and that solutions to permanently tackle this were being sought.

“It has been observed that variables such as the family’s economic structure, the culture of consumption, habits of credit card use and the family’s economic welfare alongside other variables have an impact on divorces,” Şahin said, amid assurances that it was not possible to explain the reason behind divorces simply with economic variables.