Ceyda Ulukaya is a journalist and the creator of the first map of femicides in Turkey . The project, realised in collaboration with Sevil Şeten and Yakup Çetinkaya, was among the finalists of the 2016 Data Journalism Awards, in the Small Newsroom section. The map covers the period between 2010 and 2017, in which at least 1,964 women were killed. In addition to providing the date and place of the murders, it features qualitative filters that indicate the demographics of the victims, the relationship they had with their murderers, the “pretext” of the murder, and the outcome for the murderer. According to the journalist, it is almost a war report. We have interviewed her.
How did the idea for this project come about?
It was around the end of 2014, when I started dealing with data journalism. I was aware of the Bianet centre and its annual reports on male violence, as I did my internship there much earlier. So I started to examine the Istanbul Convention , which commits the signatory states to collect data on the murders of women. The idea was to create a map that could highlight the gravity of the phenomenon in a simple and immediate manner, especially for those who are not familiar with the issue. I applied to the “Objective investigative journalism” programme of the P24 platform, which funded the work, that lasted a year. The website was then published for the first time on November 25, 2015. I would like to get to cover at least ten years, until 2020, but it is necessary to find new funding.
Which sources did you use to collect the data?
At first I had imagined that I could obtain the data I needed by submitting a request to the various ministries, on the basis of the right of access to public information. I was hoping to get even detailed information about the women. Unfortunately, none of my requests was answered. Each interlocutor told me to ask someone else, the ministry of Justice, the gendarmerie, the police station, the ministry of the Interior… In the end, I was told that the required data required additional work and therefore it was not possible to communicate them.
But don’t the ministries have their own data?
Ministries, especially that of Family Policies, periodically publish statistics on the topic. In 2009, the latter announced that there had been an increase of 1,400% in the murders of women, causing a great fuss. The ministry then continued to update those data, with numbers that have become much more “acceptable”. However, when I applied for access to such information, I was told that there are no such data. So, it is not clear if they actually have it. On the other hand, some women’s organisations and Bianet itself started to count cases of femicide precisely becaus