Violence against women continues to plague Turkey, and a pioneering new female political party blames Erdogan’s machismo.
Residents of an upscale Istanbul neighborhood flocked to their windows this month to watch a neighbor brutally beat his wife. One onlooker—a European woman—recounted the woman’s screams and her neighbors’ apathy in a post to an Istanbul Facebook group.
“I asked one of the neighbors to call the police but she refused and continued watching, like it was a soap opera,” the woman wrote. “It seems violence is a normal thing here, and nobody cares!!”
The post generated more than 100 comments, many from fellow Westerners who said that they too had been disturbed by violent scenes they couldn’t imagine unfolding back home: diners and waitstaff politely ignoring a man slapping his date in the face; pedestrians strolling past a public assault on a woman; a shopkeeper shrugging off a news report about a man slicing his wife’s nose off her face. “That’s Turkey,” a woman recalled the vendor saying.