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Murder of academic sparks outrage as femicide toll soars

A woman has been burned to death by a man in Istanbul, as the nation grows angry, but is no longer shocked at the growing number of femicides claiming the lives of women.

Aylin Sözer, an academic at an Istanbul university, became one of the last women to be murdered by a man in Turkey.

Sözer was held hostage for two days by the man before he burned her alive with flammable substances in the Maltepe district.

The man, named Kemal Delbe, was detained after neighbors notified police about the smoke that had filled the building. 

Police units, who came to the residence upon the notice, got into a skirmish with the suspect they saw with flammable liquids at home after opening the locked door with the help of a locksmith.

Delbe attacked the police who tried to detain him, as he wounded an officer by throwing the inflammable liquid on his hand in the fight, according to the reports. Onlookers in the same neighborhood attempted to attack Delbe when the police took him into custody.

He was arrested on Dec. 30.

According to police sources, the perpetrator attempted to burn Sözer’s body after slitting her throat.

The body has been moved to Istanbul University’s Institute of Forensic Sciences for further examination.

The brutal murder of the academic has triggered widespread outrage in the country, with many taking to the social media to express their anger.

Users reacted to the femicide in the country, where more than 382 women have been killed so far in 2020, according to the We Will Stop Femicides Platform (Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu).

The platform reported 29 femicides and 10 suspicious deaths of women in November alone.

Meanwhile, officials and high-ranking politicians have also expressed their condolences for Sözer and announced that there will be consequences.

Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay called Sözer’s death a “heartless” murder. “I have no doubt that this heartless murderer will get what he deserves from Turkish justice.”

Family, Labor and Social Services Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk said the “brutal murder” has deeply wounded Turkey.

“We will be following closely the trial process in order for the murderer to receive the heaviest punishment,” she said.

Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdülhamid Gül said the court will do what is necessary to deliver justice.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also condemned what he called a “femicide.” “We have to stop these femicides. We have to put an end to this archaic mentality.

“We are ready to give any support to stop these femicides,” he added.

But women say condolences after the murders of women are not enough, demanding laws to no longer fail women and for the government to take further action.

Women’s rights groups and feminists say violence against women and femicides are perennial in the country and demand legal authorities and the government take tangible action, which includes the full implementation of the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty that obligates member states to combat violence against women.

Also on Dec. 29, two other women, Selda Taş and Vesile Dönmez, were murdered by men.

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Written by Info Center

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