June 2012Domestic violence has been a persistent problem in Turkey. High percentages of women in both urban and rural areas suffer from physical abuse, often on a continuing basis, due to lack of awareness of legal rights by victims, ingrained societal attitudes about domestic violence, and insufficient support services. Since March 2011, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) Europe and Eurasia Division and the Middle East and North Africa Division have been working to reduce the prevalence of violence against women in Turkey by training legal professionals and by conducting public awareness activities. For this program, ABA ROLI partners with Bahçeşehir University (BU) and a network of Turkish civil society organizations (CSOs). Together with BU, ABA ROLI has developed a specialized 40-hour course on domestic violence (DV) legal interventions for practicing attorneys. ABA ROLI and BU offered the first course in early December 2011 to approximately 90 attorneys. A second session was conducted in February for approximately 100 attorneys. Presenters include BU Law School Dean Ayse Nuhoğlu, as well as law professors and local DV experts. Topics included: the application of international laws and regulations in DV cases; using Turkey’s women’s rights obligations under international law to advocate for system change; providing legal assistance to trauma survivors; and an overview of the legal system in Turkey. Upon completion of the program, participants receive certifications that are recognized by the Istanbul Bar Association. BU will continue to offer the certificate course at least on an annual basis.
To learn more about our work in Turkey, please contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at email@example.com.