Suicide, Murder Debated In Turkish Deaths

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BATMAN, Turkey, Aug. 23 (UPI) — A recent rash of suicides in a Turkish province infamous for female killings are in fact murders, womens’ rights groups allege.

Eight people, mostly women, allegedly attempted suicide in the eastern province of Batman in the past 10 days, and while officials are blaming depression, women’s associations say many suicide claims are not true and people who die are often homicide victims, Hurriyet Daily News reported Monday.

“The people who reportedly died — by home accidents, traffic accidents, drowning in a lake, falling down from a balcony, poisoned — in fact they were killed by someone,” Hulya Gulbahar, a lawyer and founder of the Constitution Women’s Platform, told Monday’s Hurriyet Daily News.

Based on the group’s investigations, she said, one out of three suicides in the province is, in fact, a homicide.

Economic problems and cultural problems faced by women force people to attempt to kill themselves, women’s advocates say.

Some women choose to attempt suicide a result of being victimized by their families, Batman Women Rights Commission head Hatice Yilmaz said.

“There was a girl who was forced to wear a headscarf and her family withdrew her from school,” a woman who asked to remain anonymous told the Women’s Foundation Center.

“According to reports, she fell from a window while cleaning it, but the doorman saw that she fell backward from the window.”

Women are battling stress and harassment and the situation was the same for every woman in Batman regardless of age, she said.

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