Statement by Mr. Kerim Uras, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Mission of Turkey to the UN, at the Third Committee Agenda Item 61: Advancement of Women

Kerim Uras 10.10.2006
Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Delegates,

The Secretary-General's in-depth study on all forms of violence against women clearly indicates that violence against women is a wide-spread and serious problem that affects women around the globe and it impedes the full development of women's capabilities.

The study outlines different forms and manifestations of violence against women. Such violence cannot be addressed in isolation from broader concepts, such as discrimination against and empowerment of women.

The study includes a wide range of recommendations both at national and international levels, which all deserve careful consideration, and moreover, substantial implementation and follow-up. States, civil society and international organizations should work together to achieve success in countering violence against women.

Mr.Chairman,

Turkey attaches great importance to combating violence against women and pursues a comprehensive legal and social strategy to curtail such violence. This strategy includes legal and administrative measures, as well as educational and awareness raising programs, and it involves all segments of society.

As for legal measures, the Law on the Protection of the Family, the new Penal Code and the new Law on Municipalities constitute the three basic pillars of the efforts to combat violence against women.

The Law on the Protection of the Family facilitates lodging complaints by the victims, particularly by women and children. The Law also provides for the enforcement of precautionary measures to ensure the protection of the victims such as; forcing the offender to abandon the house, payment of temporary alimony and ban on disturbing the family through the means of communication devices. Violation of these measures requires penalties from 3 to a maximum of 6 months of imprisonment.

The new Penal Code totally and strictly abolished any mitigating clause which might result in de facto reduction of sentences in the case of "honor killings". It has been recognized that the perpetrators of "honor killings" shall be given the highest possible sentences.

The new Law on Municipalities stipulates that municipalities with a population of more than 50.000 inhabitants shall establish shelters for women. Through these shelters, the Directorate General of Social Services and Child Protection Institute provide services for women who have encountered or are at risk of encountering violence.

Mr.Chairman,

We are fully aware that developments in the legal field do not necessarily ensure improvement in practice. Success cannot be achieved concentrating only on measures to combat violence after it occurs. Educational and awareness raising programs are equally vital. With this in mind, special training programs have been being prepared for security forces, health care personnel and other public servants who deal with women who are or who may be subjected to violence. To raise awareness on violence against women, the General Directorate on the Status of Women, in cooperation with NGO's prepared various video-spots.

NGO's, as part of their mandate to eliminate violence against women, conduct researches, gather data on violence and develop problem solving strategies to respond to physical, psychological, social, financial and legal problems arising from violence. Within this context, they provide counseling services and shelter for women suffering from violence. Guidance and counseling services are also being offered by the Provincial Social Services Directorates in all provinces, by certain Municipal Administrations, as well as by the Directorate General on the Status of Women.

To conclude, I would like to underline once again that Turkey gives priority to the issue of violence against women and we believe that this issue deserves the same priority at the international level. We sincerely hope that the in-depth study will provide the required impetus at all levels.

Thank you.