Pınar Gültekin was a 27-year-old university student who went missing on July 16th (2020) and was found brutally murdered five days later. Her murder has sparked a series of protests against femicide and violence against women across Turkey.
Reports stated that Gültekin’s body was put in a barrel, burnt and filled with concrete. Her ex-boyfriend, Cemal Metin Avci, was arrested for the murder and has reportedly confessed. Allegedly he would have explained himself by saying, “I killed her in a moment of anger.” Gültekin’s father said she was a person full of life and called out to the entire country that “enough is enough.”
Turkey’s deeply conservative institutions have suffocated activism for women’s rights and struggles against violence against women, which got deepened by AKP party’s conservative rhetoric, mainly led by President Erdoğan. In 2019, almost 500 Turkish women were victims of femicide and a higher rate is expected this year due to the lockdowns.
On top of this already hard reality, there is speculation that President Erdoğan’s government might withdraw from the Istanbul convention, which was ratified in 2012 and is the world’s first binding instrument to fight and prevent violence against women.
A black and white photo challenge with the hashtag ChallengeAccepted started after Pinar Gültekin’s murder, as a way for women to remember the women who have been killed and remind people that due to the widespread violence against women their image could be the next to appear on people’s social media feeds.