The atrocious murder of the university student Özgecan Aslan has caused a public outrage, leading to mass protests. As ODTÜ, we condemn the murder and offer our condolences to Özgecan’s family and friends.
It is unfortunate that violence against women is becoming more prevalent in our country. The international norms of the modern world define the violence against women as the most extreme case of discrimination and a serious human rights violation. As a result of the men-women inequality, the violence against women is a serious crime which needs to be prevented in both our country and the world, more than merely condemning. The victims must be protected and culprits must be punished as well.
Preventing the discrimination and violence against the women requires a comprehensive, unwavering struggle which should include all parts of society and all fields of life. The international pacts that Turkey signed and UN decisions manifest the objectives, methods and scope of this struggle. According to open provisions of UN’s “Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women” and “Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention)”, preventing the discrimination and violence against women is responsibility of the governments. Similarly, in UN’s “Convection on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)” destroying stereotypes of men-women relationships is regarded as governments’ responsibility. Governments are in the position to work to prevent discrimination and violence against women, without bringing forward excuses like traditions and religion.
Turkey accepted these provisions, and approved the contract. It became the first country to sign the "Istanbul Convention" which aims to put an end to the violence against women. In order to reflect the mentality in international norms to the social life, the government needs to make regulations that match with the international laws and contracts. In this way, the government has to make sure that the fight with the violence against women is conducting with zero tolerance.
In this struggle, each part of the society has responsibilities. It is a well-known fact that the educational institutions, especially universities, have a major role in the understanding and adoption of universal principles like human rights and equality of woman and man. As universities, our responsibilities are not restricted with conducting scientific researches or educating qualified professionals specialized on equality of woman and man, and human rights. It is also our job to lead the discussions about reasons for the violence against women and violations of human rights. Moreover, it is our duty to lead the discussions concerning the solutions of these problems and suggesting answers in scientific perspective and advocating the equality of woman and man.
ODTÜ has led the works on social murder and woman's studies in our country. ODTÜ has intensively carried on studies of education, research and practice on the subject for twenty years and it will continue to oppose the all forms of violence in the society and defend the equality of woman and man in every stage.