Posted by: mollyscafeistanbul | December 16, 2011

violence against women, close to home

There is a lot of press these days about violence against women in Turkey. Of course this issue is not restricted to this country– it is a big issue in ‘civilized’ countries such as the U.S. and countries in Europe. I think the big difference is that talking about it here is new. There was a horrific photo in the media a few months ago of an attractive woman who had been brutally beaten up by her boyfriend, who left her on the bench of a bus stop and then called the police. He was later arrested and she has since died. (see I hope he is thrown in jail for life, but I doubt it will happen. More recently a video from a security camera showed a handcuffed woman being beaten in a police station. (See  The officers may receive up to 1.5 years in jail, but she has been accused of hitting and swearing at them, so she could receive up to 6.5 years! Something is wrong.

Some religious people say a man can beat his wife according to the Koran or the Bible or whatever, but of course there are many interpretations of this. Mostly it is a crime and in Turkey women in particular are working on making it much more of a crime.

Many years ago in the U.S. I came across a short guy trying to hit a girl. I am tallish and I was wearing cowboy boots, so I yelled at him, grabbed her, and we locked ourselves in a nearby phone booth. He yelled and threatened me, but finally he went away and we got out of the phone booth.





Last night I was reminded of this because I was awakened at 12:30 am by yelling upstairs. The girl was crying and the man was shouting. I heard running and thumping. I could not just ignore it. It would have been impossible to just try to go back to sleep. Finally, I got up, grabbed my keys, and went upstairs. I leaned on their doorbell and banged on their door. I was furious. Two men came to the door, one a young man with a typical Turkish moustache and the other a sort of nerdy guy with glasses and long hair. He jumped in front of the door and said ‘I am here.’ The whole exchange was in English because I have a hard time being angry in Turkish. I told them they if they did not stop that I would call the fucking police. And more, of course. By then the guy who lives across the hall had opened his door. Why had he not tried to do anything to stop it? He must have heard it all even more than I could. So many neighbours  try to ignore things like this. And really, it is a dilemma, because these are neighbours in their own private space. However, when there is violence, someone must act. It was a risk because the man could have attacked me– although I am sure that the spectre of a tousled large middle-aged woman was not a vision that would incline someone to attack. I went back to my flat and things calmed down. It was very upsetting to me and I am so sorry for the girl, who has had less noisy fights in the past.


What would you have done? Grumble, bitch, mutter? Go upstairs and confront?



  1. omg!!! You are so brave. You put your life at ristk! There is nothing worse than domestic violence. He will think twice before this happenes again but it will happen again. If she only new that there is a cycle to abuse and it will only get worse if they do not get help.

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