Today women in Turkey wore black to condemn and protest the vicious killing of Ozgecan Aslan, a twenty year old student, who was allegedly murdered last week in Mersin by a minibus driver. I say allegedly not because she isn't dead because tragically she is and not because the accused has not confessed because he has ( as far as the Police have reported but I can't say I hold their words in high esteem) but I feel it is important at this time that legal process is followed. There has already been too much talk of retribution and revenge in the media, of people being glad that the accused has no legal representation, of demands for the death penalty. For justice to be served it must also be delivered fairly. And the eye-for-an eye mentality will not bring improve Turkish society anymore than its current prevailing attitude towards women and their role.
I found the wearing of black to be a quiet, dignified gesture. And as I saw different women, particularly young women, on the metro, working in companies, walking along the streets, dressed in black, knowing all of them carried this brutal story around in their hearts, I felt both saddened and moved. As was the tragic footage of women carrying her coffin. Keeping the men away from her body. Violence against women is a world epidemic. Not just here in Turkey but I do know this country has particularly poor record and is not assisted by a Government whose members have openly said, among other things, that women are not equal and women should not laugh in public. I do wonder if this despicable crime will bring any real change to this country. I hope it will but with so much violence going on behind closed doors and within family units I do not feel great optimism.
Rest in Peace dear sweet Ozgecan.