A young Turkish woman who starred in a video urging an end to violence against women has been shot dead by her brother.
Incredibly, the murder of civil engineer Bahar Hezer, 26, by her brother using a shotgun happened in broad daylight when there was high security and the streets were packed with police officers for the arrival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on an official visit.
The incident happened in Urfa, southeastern Turkey on 3rd December.
After blasting her at point-blank range, her brother Yekta Hezer, 24, managed to flee.
His critically injured sister was rushed to the nearby Mehmet Akif Inan Training and Research Hospital where doctors were unable to save her.
Police are investigating how the man managed to walk up to his sister and kill her despite the police presence and then flee without being caught until much later.
After his arrest, he claimed that he had been insulted by her after she told him that he was crazy and that he was fed up with being criticised.
The president was in the area for the opening ceremony of the Sanliurfa Northwest Ring Road when he took the opportunity to talk about the country’s fight against terrorism.
He said they planned to complete a 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) security zone on the southern border saying: “Nobody can threaten our security, we will not allow it.”
The fact that the young woman was being murdered as he was claiming further underlines is reportedly a result of the fact that he took the country out of the Istanbul Convention, which should have done more to protect women’s rights.
Bahar, who was shot dead by her brother, had only recently published a video in which she campaigned against domestic violence.
The video shows her standing against the wall with her head bowed as fingers point accusingly at her and male shadows are seen surrounding her and cowering her into submission.
CHP Sanliurfa Provincial Women’s Branch President Emine Gizem Cetiner was one of those who shared the video.
She said that it was shot on 25th November to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and was used to underline the fact that the Istanbul Convention had been rejected by Turkey after initially championing it for a global audience.
Femicide is a growing problem in Turkey, particularly after the country officially quit the Istanbul Convention in July last year.
According to the 2021 Annual Data Report announced by the ‘We Will Stop Femicide Platform’, 280 women were killed by men in 2021, while 217 women were found suspiciously dead.
According to data from the ‘Monument Counter’, which is “a digital memorial for women killed by violence” and is updated daily, 361 femicides have taken place in Turkey so far this year.