Articles

Turkish journalist Ceyda Ulukaya, Objective grant-holder by MYMEDIA, has been collecting data on murders of women in Turkey for over one year. Her goal was to create an interactive map, which would include details of Turkish femicides for the last 5 years. MYMEDIA talked to Ceyda and found out, how she managed to collect such a mass of data on her own, and what the reaction to this research was both in Turkey and abroad.  

In order to create an interactive map of the murders, the journalist collected, sorted out and analyzed data on 1134 femicides (murders of women by men) from 2010 till 2015. The map allocateі femicides by provinces and districts.. All cases can also be categorized by perpetrator, pretext, violence or divorce elements.
 
The pretexts for murders are especially surprising: some of the explanations were “having her hair dyed to red”, “buying a new dress”, “not cooking potato meatball”, “not passing the salt shaker”, or just “becoming irritated”.  
 
The perpetrators are typically close men – husbands, lovers, sons or brothers.
 
This website gives access to the information which cannot be from official institutions. This map is an interactive archive for researchers, investigators, students, NGOs or politicians, who are working on the topic. Using different filters will help create preventative measures and recommendations against femicides.  
 
"The topic of femicides in Turkey is not a tabu", - says Ceyda. - "But it is not covered properly. Most often there is just a small news, written in a justificatory manner. A man found out that his wife cheats on him and killed her. That's the whole logic. It hinders  to see the whole picture and discuss it comprehensively".
 
It is this manner of public discussion that stimulated Ceyda to collect not only data and numbers, but also sort the cases out according to different filters.  
 
"It allows to make a deeper analysis and speak about these cases more objectively, without cultural codes. Based on big data analysis one can discuss preventative measures for similar murders", - Ceyda says.  
 
However, collecting this data appeared to be not so easy – Ceyda had to find answers to a number of questions. At what age and where were the women murdered and on what pretexts? Did they demand protection before the murder? Were they systematically exposed to violence? Could the murders have been prevented?  
 
The official institutions refused to cooperate or give information on the murdered women.  
 
"I sent official information requests to 4 Ministries by The Right to Information Act – to the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Family and Social Policy, National Security Service and Gendarmerie. All of them were left unanswered. They just redirected me from one service to, another giving no information".  
 
"This is why I had to gather small bits of information from open sources or online-media. There were 2 existing projects in Turkey that had been researching this topic -  bianet.org and anitsayac.com."Both were just in form of report and list, not all elements included an interactive map". They gave short information about the incident, and I had to Google for more details in each particular case" - Ceyda says. 
 
 
 
On the interactive map one can find a brief description of each murder case, and find a link to the news about it in online media. For instance, the map suggests that out of 1,134 killed women, 217 were exposed to systematical violence, harassment or threat, and 141 women appealed to an official institution for security reasons.
   
The publication of the map did not go unnoticed - according to Ceyda, there was a reaction from both national and international media. But this reaction Ceyda describes as "hypocritical". "Media are ready to discuss the topic, and they published loud headlines, such as "Over a 1000 women were killed in Turkey in the last 5 years". But then they continue to write about victims and perpetrators in the same manner, and nothing changes" - says Ceyda.  
 
Local authorities showed no reaction or interest whatsoever, and murderers continue to get good conduct abatement.
 
In the international media this map is mostly discussed as an example of data journalism, rather than a social problem.  
 
The website continues to be fulfilled with new data after launching – there is already data for 2016. "Sorting out murders is a hard work, both physically and mentally", - Ceyda confesses. The journalist had to do this work in her free time – evenings or weekends. Only 2 people participated in the project – the journalist was doing a research, gathering and analyzing information, while her partner was responsible for technical part of the project – programming and design.  
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Turkish journalist Ceyda Ulukaya, Objective grant-holder by MYMEDIA, has been collecting data on murders of women in Turkey for over one year. Her goal was to create an interactive map, which would include details of Turkish femicides for the last 5 years. MYMEDIA talked to Ceyda and found out, how she managed to collect such a mass of data on her own, and what the reaction to this research was both in Turkey and abroad.  

In order to create an interactive map of the murders, the journalist collected, sorted out and analyzed data on 1134 femicides (murders of women by men) from 2010 till 2015. The map allocateі femicides by provinces and districts.. All cases can also be categorized by perpetrator, pretext, violence or divorce elements.
 
The pretexts for murders are especially surprising: some of the explanations were “having her hair dyed to red”, “buying a new dress”, “not cooking potato meatball”, “not passing the salt shaker”, or just “becoming irritated”.  
 
The perpetrators are typically close men – husbands, lovers, sons or brothers.
 
This website gives access to the information which cannot be from official institutions. This map is an interactive archive for researchers, investigators, students, NGOs or politicians, who are working on the topic. Using different filters will help create preventative measures and recommendations against femicides.  
 
"The topic of femicides in Turkey is not a tabu", - says Ceyda. - "But it is not covered properly. Most often there is just a small news, written in a justificatory manner. A man found out that his wife cheats on him and killed her. That's the whole logic. It hinders  to see the whole picture and discuss it comprehensively".
 
It is this manner of public discussion that stimulated Ceyda to collect not only data and numbers, but also sort the cases out according to different filters.  
 
"It allows to make a deeper analysis and speak about these cases more objectively, without cultural codes. Based on big data analysis one can discuss preventative measures for similar murders", - Ceyda says.  
 
However, collecting this data appeared to be not so easy – Ceyda had to find answers to a number of questions. At what age and where were the women murdered and on what pretexts? Did they demand protection before the murder? Were they systematically exposed to violence? Could the murders have been prevented?  
 
The official institutions refused to cooperate or give information on the murdered women.  
 
"I sent official information requests to 4 Ministries by The Right to Information Act – to the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Family and Social Policy, National Security Service and Gendarmerie. All of them were left unanswered. They just redirected me from one service to, another giving no information".  
 
"This is why I had to gather small bits of information from open sources or online-media. There were 2 existing projects in Turkey that had been researching this topic -  bianet.org and anitsayac.com."Both were just in form of report and list, not all elements included an interactive map". They gave short information about the incident, and I had to Google for more details in each particular case" - Ceyda says. 
 
 
 
On the interactive map one can find a brief description of each murder case, and find a link to the news about it in online media. For instance, the map suggests that out of 1,134 killed women, 217 were exposed to systematical violence, harassment or threat, and 141 women appealed to an official institution for security reasons.
   
The publication of the map did not go unnoticed - according to Ceyda, there was a reaction from both national and international media. But this reaction Ceyda describes as "hypocritical". "Media are ready to discuss the topic, and they published loud headlines, such as "Over a 1000 women were killed in Turkey in the last 5 years". But then they continue to write about victims and perpetrators in the same manner, and nothing changes" - says Ceyda.  
 
Local authorities showed no reaction or interest whatsoever, and murderers continue to get good conduct abatement.
 
In the international media this map is mostly discussed as an example of data journalism, rather than a social problem.  
 
The website continues to be fulfilled with new data after launching – there is already data for 2016. "Sorting out murders is a hard work, both physically and mentally", - Ceyda confesses. The journalist had to do this work in her free time – evenings or weekends. Only 2 people participated in the project – the journalist was doing a research, gathering and analyzing information, while her partner was responsible for technical part of the project – programming and design.  
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