Nimet Cubukcu, Turkey’s Minister in charge of women’s affairs, says domestic violence is a key issue in her nation. Since October, half of the 1,244 women who requested safe haven at the Mor Cati Women Shelter Association were fleeing from domestic violence issues. Ms. Cubukcu believes an important problem is the misuse of religion and culture to justify abusing women on grounds of “honor” which invariably means men’s feelings being angered. Besir Atalay, Minister of the Interior and Ms. Cubukcu are initiating a new program to train about 40,000 Turkish police in strategies of dealing with domestic violence.
As Ms. Cubukcu correctly points out, domestic violence is not a “Muslim issue,” it is one found in virtually all religions in the world. There are men who will justify violent behavior on religious or cultural grounds in just about any religion.