Turkey femicide trial opens after viral video

A protest march in the context of increasing femicide in Turkey (file photo)

Kirikkale (Turkey): A high-profile trial began Wednesday over the murder of a Turkish woman whose stabbing by her ex-husband was caught on video and triggered a debate over a spike in femicide.

The killing of 38-year-old Emine Bulut in August sparked outrage across Turkey and reignited the debate over mounting violence against women in the country.

Bulut, who had divorced her husband four years earlier, was stabbed in a cafe in front of her 10-year-old daughter in the central Anatolian city of Kirikkale. She later died in hospital.

A video of the aftermath of the attack was posted online showing Bulut in the cafe, covered in blood, screaming to her daughter: "I don't want to die." The tearful girl says: "Mum, please don't die." Bulut's ex-husband Fedai Varan, 43, faces life imprisonment for "deliberately killing with monstrous feeling" if convicted.

He told police Bulut had insulted him.

He appeared via video link at the courtroom in Kirikkale, near Ankara where proceedings struggled to get underway due to the huge number of journalists and lawyers trying to watch proceedings.

According to the women's rights group We Will Stop Femicide, 121 women were killed in 2011.

In 2017 that figure was 409, while 440 were killed in 2018.  A total of 354 women were killed in the first nine months of 2019.

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