Law No 6284 In Preventing Male Violence

Law No 6284

One of the most important pieces of legislation we may resort to when subjected to male violence is Law No 6284.

This brochure seeks to provide information on how to make use of the Law in general and under emergencies, in addition to containing the full text of the law. Let us not forget, it is our right to have all the measures mentioned here implemented!

We do not need a lawyer to exercise our legal rights, though such legal support may prove helpful in achieving results. We may benefit from a free lawyer by applying to the legal aid office of the bar association in our province of residence, submitting a residence certificate, poverty certificate, and a copy of our ID. Do seek support from your bar association even if you are unable to procure these documents. As per the Istanbul Convention, which Turkey is also party to, the state is under the obligation to provide free legal support to women in situations of violence.

What Purpose Does Law No 6284 Serve?

You may be suffering violence from your spouse by religious or official/civil marriage, divorced spouse, father, brother, uncle, cousin, fiancé, son, ex-boyfriend, current boyfriend, father-in-law, brother-in-law – in short men in your immediate circle or a perfect stranger. Law No 6284 provides vital means to protect you from this violence and prevent perpetrators of violence.

This Law regulates the measures to be taken to protect women, children, family members and stalking victims subjected to or at the risk of violence, and to prevent any violence from being directed against them.

When Does Law No 6284 Apply?

The Law defines violence as all acts that result in or are likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological, or economic harm or suffering to you.

Therefore,

Violence is not only battery/physical abuse;

  • insulting,
  • belittling,
  • humiliation in front of others,
  • threats to kill, harm or injure,
  • coercing a person into unwanted sexual acts at unwanted times,
  • cutting one off from neighbours, friends and relatives,
  • denying adequate money for basic needs,
  • appropriation of income,
  • constant scrutiny of spending,
  • insistent phone calls,
  • interfering in one’s choice of friends,
  • stalking

are all acts of violence according to the law, and you may resort to its protection whenever subjected to any of this behaviour. This violence may be harming your immediate relations such as your children, mother or sister along with you individually. They are also under the protection of the Law.

Keep in mind that you do not actually need to have been subjected to violence in order to apply for the measures provided in this Law, the existence of a risk or threat of violence is sufficient.

The country of origin or legal status of a woman is of no consequence in the implementation of Law No 6284. Any and all women subjected to or at risk of violence may take advantage of this law.

What Are Your Rights Under this Law?

  1. You may request shelter

Let us assume that you have been subjected to violence and urgently need a safe place to stay in that isn’t your own home or a relation’s. In such a case, you may request adequate shelter for yourself and your children in your own town or another.

If you are a migrant, you may be asked to present documentation of your legal status in Turkey to be admitted into a shelter. A woman’s country of origin is irrelevant to the application of Law No 6284, all women subjected to or at the risk of violence have the right to be placed in a shelter. Having a document registering you in Turkey such as an international protection ID or a residence permit will, however, facilitate your access to basic services such as healthcare and judicial mechanisms. Also, if you are not allowed outside the province you are registered in, you may ask your provincial Directorate of Migration Management for a relocation on grounds that you have been subjected to violence.

If you are in an urgent situation facing serious violence and do not have a safe place to stay, a women’s shelter will be the safest option for you. The locations of shelters are strictly confidential, and nobody can contact you unless you want them to.

You do not need to lodge an official complaint, have an injunction issued or obtain proof of violence such as a medical report in order to be placed in a shelter.

Where to Apply:

The nearest Police Station,

Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (VPMCs),

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office,

Province/District Governors,

Family Courts

Please note!

VPMCs, police stations and district or province governor’s offices are obligated to transfer you to a shelter without delay. No Family Court order is necessary.

Do not forget, even if you go to a police station in the middle of the night or during the weekend, the police* are required to take you to the nearest women’s shelter. If there is no shelter in the area or existing shelters have run out of space, the police must immediately escort you to a safe place (such as a hotel or police facilities) and ensure your protection.

  1. You may request Temporary (Close) Protection

If you are worried of being harmed by a perpetrator or possible perpetrator, you may request to be allocated a police officer to accompany you when going outside, on your way to work, etc.

Where to Apply:

The nearest Police Station,

Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (VPMCs),

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office,

Province/District Governors,

Family Courts

Please note!

Your province or district governor’s office may assign you a close protection officer without referring you to a prosecutor or family court.

If the situation is urgent and requires immediate intervention the nearest police or gendarmerie officer is responsible for providing you with close protection – a decision which they will then submit to the district or province governor for approval on the first business day following the incident.

  1. You may request the offender to be barred from entering your shared home and prevented from approaching you.
You may obtain a barring/restraining order to remove the domestic violence offender from your shared home. They will be banned from approaching your home, workplace, your child(ren)’s school and you while the order is in effect. You, on the other hand, may continue living at this residence.

If, however, you have any reason to believe you are in a serious, life-threatening situation, moving to a shelter may be a quicker and safer option for you.

*The law dictates that the gendarmerie has the same duties and powers as the police in every manner, effective in territories falling outside the geographical jurisdiction of the police.

Where to Apply:

The nearest Police Station,

Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (VPMCs),

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office,

Family Courts

Please Note!

In cases that are urgent and require immediate intervention the police have the power and responsibility to remove the perpetrator or possible perpetrator from the residence without requiring any barring/restraining order from a court. If the police are unwilling to use their powers and carry out this duty, insistently remind them of their responsibility and explicitly ask them to remove the perpetrator of violence from your domicile and prevent him from approaching you.

  1. You may have the perpetrator prevented from disturbing you.

You may request the perpetrator of violence to be stopped from contacting you via phone, mail, social media or through any other channel.

Where to Apply:

The nearest Police Station,

Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (VPMCs),

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office,

Family Courts

  1. You may have your address concealed.

If your life is under threat and/or you are fleeing a perpetrator of violence you may ask for your personal data and address to be kept undisclosed in all official records. For the perpetrator may obtain your address through the national population register, health insurance records, the school records of your child or any other official record you may have. Clearly state in your application that you request your address and personal data to be kept concealed, and ask for this confidentiality order to be written out explicitly and in detail in the ruling by the family court.

If you are a migrant and your legal status is dependent on the perpetrator of violence or if the perpetrator is included as a family member in your DGMM (Directorate General of Migration Management) application, you may request your files to be separated and your address to be kept undisclosed in DGMM records. Moreover, if you have been subjected to or are at risk of violence, you must be prioritized in DGMM procedures such as ID applications and the state must provide you with the necessary medical care (LIPF art. 67).

If you are in Turkey on a family residence permit and have a court decision establishing that you are a victim of domestic violence, you may apply for a short-term residence permit and stay in the country without having to fulfil the obligatory time period even if you have divorced from the perpetrator.

In addition to this, even in cases where there is no direct perpetrator of violence but a potential threat to your life, as in, if you are pregnant from your boyfriend and would face life-threatening violence if your family were to find out, you may still request your personal information and address to be kept undisclosed in all official records without designating a specific perpetrator of violence (an opposing or hostile party).

Where to Apply:

The nearest Police Station,

Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (VPMCs),

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office,

Family Courts

  1. You may request your identity and other relevant information to be changed.

If you are facing a life-threatening situation, you may request an identity change, which means you will be assigned a new name and surname. Keep in mind that this decision may alter your life radically, as you may also lose certain previously acquired rights. We therefore suggest that you apply for an identity change as a last resort if have no other means to escape violence and your life is under threat, and be sure to request all of your acquired rights to be transferred to your new identity.

If you are a migrant, your request for an identity change may be refused on grounds that it falls under the jurisdiction of your country of origin. If your application is accepted, having the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management where you are registered informed of your identity change will allow you to keep your legal status in Turkey.

Be sure to make your application directly to a family court with assistance from a lawyer.

  1. You may request to have the perpetrator surrender his firearms to the police.

You may have the perpetrator or possible perpetrator surrender his firearms to the police. Even in cases where the perpetrator has a profession that requires him to carry weapons such as being a gendarmerie or police officer, you may still request that they be made to relinquish their firearms.

Where to Apply:

The nearest Police Station,

Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (VPMCs),

The Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office,

Family Courts

  1. You may request temporary custody and temporary alimony.

If you have children and haven’t yet filed for divorce, this law allows you to obtain temporary custody. As long as the marriage continues, custody is held jointly by both parents. If, however, your spouse is violent towards you or your children, a family court may grant you temporary custody.

If you are a migrant, you are subject to Turkish law in terms of temporary precautionary measures, which means that you are entitled to rights such as temporary alimony.

Also, if you do not have an already settled alimony deal, you may request alimony for yourself and your children.

Where to Apply:

Directly to family courts.

  1. You may request temporary financial aid.

Temporary financial aid is a form of material support available to you under Law No 6284 in order to meet needs that may arise after suffering violence. You may be told that you are not eligible for temporary financial aid if you are receiving in-kind or cash support from municipalities or district or province governor’s offices. This information is wrong and against the law. Temporary financial aid is a separate entitlement provided to you under Law No 6284 because you have been subjected to violence, and it is independent from any other form of social aid. You may apply to a municipality, district or province governor’s office for in-kind or cash support whilst receiving temporary financial aid or vice versa. If you have accompanying children, you may also request additional payments for them.

Where to Apply:

District Governors,

Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (VPMCs) or Provincial Directorates of Family, Labour and Social Services

Family Courts

  1. You may request a family residence annotation to be put on the title deed of your home.

A family home or family residence is the home you inhabit with your spouse during your marriage. If the title deed of the house you live in is in your husband’s name (as in, your husband has legal ownership of the house), you may have a family residence annotation put on the deed at a Land Registry Office with your marriage certificate, residence certificate and copy of your ID card. If there is any dispute regarding whether your home is indeed a family residence, then you may apply by petition to a family court for a family residence annotation to be put on the deed according to Law no 6284 and the Civil Code. Once a family residence annotation has been put on the deed, your spouse may not sell the said residence without your consent or limit your rights over the residence. This will also protect and guarantee the equal share you are entitled upon divorce.

Where to Apply:

Land Registry Offices – if rejected, then Family Courts  

  1. You are entitled to free general health insurance under this law if you are not otherwise covered.

If you have had a protection order issued under this law, you are considered insured no matter whether you are uninsured or have unpaid insurance premiums. As long as your protection order is in place, you may benefit from health care and purchase your medication under this insurance.

How Should You Apply for These Measures?

You may apply to a family court by petition. You may seek legal assistance from a lawyer in filing the petition.

In this petition, you must explain in detail the violence you are suffering and express your wish to escape this violence. Once complete, hand in the petition to the family court on duty in the courthouse closest to you. You may also submit your petition to public prosecutors, police stations, district governors and VPMCs. Yet since it will take a certain amount of time for these offices to send your petition to a family court for approval, applying to the court directly will expedite the process.

In practice, while applying to a family court directly gets your order issued the next day at the latest, petitions filed via police stations or prosecutor’s offices may take up to a couple of days to be approved.

Once you apply to a family court you will be given a file number. It is important that you note this number down somewhere. Your order should be issued within a maximum of two business days from your application. You may find out the outcome by querying back at the court with your file number.

It is not necessary for you to apply to a family court in order to request close protection or shelter placement. All you need to do for this is go to a VPMC or police station and say that your life is under threat, asking your request to be taken down in writing.

To lodge a request for temporary financial aid, you must go to the nearest district governor’s office and file a petition detailing your economic situation. The petition should include your monthly expenses (rent, electricity, water, etc.), as well as the expenses of your dependants (children, parents, etc.).

It is a good idea to follow up on your applications to district governor’s offices, police stations or VPMCs either by phone or in person. If your application and the protective measures you have requested are denied, you have the right to appeal against this decision to the authority responsible for it within 2 weeks.

4Points to Keep in Mind When Applying:

It is beyond doubt of critical importance to have legislation in place to protect you from violence and punish perpetrators in case of violence. Yet it is unfortunately hardly possible to say that everything is implemented as spelled out in the law in Turkey. When seeking help at a police station, district governor’s office, prosecutor or court you may be given incorrect or incomplete information or outright dismissed at times out of a lack of knowledge on the part of public officials, at times out of their laziness, at times the lack of adequate resources, and most often because they do not consider violence against women to be a veritable violation of rights. In order to be able to exercise your rights you must, therefore, first be aware of what these rights are and then be adamant.

Here are some points you must keep in mind when going to an authority (a police station, district governor’s office, court, VPMC or lawyer):

  1. If your situation is not unbearably urgent, talk to a lawyer first. If you cannot afford a lawyer, seek assistance from the legal aid office of the bar association in your province. The bar association will ask you to provide a residence certificate, poverty certificate, a copy of your ID and will then appoint you a lawyer free of charge.
  2. If you are to apply on your own without a lawyer, bring this brochure with you and indicate to those in charge what your rights are and what they have to do.
  3. Submit all of your applications and requests in writing. Do not accept the outcome to be communicated to you verbally, make sure to ask for a written document.
  4. If you are in a police station, make sure everything you request has been written into the police report. Read the report before signing, and if it contains anything you have not said ask for it to be corrected. There must be two copies of your application. Keep one copy and leave one with the police. Ask for the police officer filing your application to write “received” on the copy you shall keep with their name and signature underneath. Tell them that they must provide you with a document registration number and write it on the copy you are keeping. You will thus be able to keep track of your application using this number.
  5. If there are any marks of violence on your body when you go to the police station, do not forget that the Turkish Penal Code defines battery as a crime. The police must immediately refer you to a hospital, meanwhile reporting the crime. If they fail to refer and report, remind them that they are obligated to do so.
  6. If possible, have a friend or relation accompany you when applying.
  7. Note down the date and time of your visit, the name and surname or physical description (height, weight, eye and hair colour, etc.) of the person dealing with you.
  8. If you are not cared for as necessary in the police station, dial 155 and report that “you were subjected to violence and came to seek help at a police station, but nobody paid attention to you,” saying that “the officers therefore committed an offence in violation of their lawful duties.”

What Can You Do if a Protective/Preventive Order Issued Under This Law is Violated?

Let us say that you have sought recourse from violence and the court issued an order banning the person being violent towards you from approaching your vicinity, disturbing you on the phone or through messages. The abuser, however, did not abide by the order and came to your home, called you or texted you. No matter what the content of the texts he sent you or his reason for calling or coming to your home may be, these actions of his are in violation of the court order. His messages may not contain threats or insults or he may have come home only to see the children. The rationale behind his actions does not change the fact that he has violated the order.

In this case, you must write a petition to the prosecutor’s office or court notifying them of the date, time and manner in which the perpetrator of violence violated his court order – supported by evidence if possible. If you report the violation as such, there is a chance that the perpetrator will be jailed from 3 to 10 days.

Regulations Regarding Foreigners

There may be many reasons for you to be in Turkey as a foreign woman. The protective mechanisms you may benefit from vary according to your legal status in Turkey, but the rights provided under Law No 6284 and the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (known, for short, as the “Istanbul Convention”) are for all women.

According to the Istanbul Convention, Turkey must guarantee “the implementation of the provisions of this Convention, in particular measures to protect the rights of victims, shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, gender, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, state of health, disability, marital status, migrant or refugee status, or other status.”

If you have no official record in Turkey:

If you have arrived in Turkey as a migrant due to violent events taking place in your home country or fear of violence against your person but have no official document legalizing your stay here, you may apply to the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management in your province explaining your situation and requesting international protection. As soon as your international protection request is received you are directed to a satellite city (outside the big cities) in which you must reside. You must remain in this province during and after your status determination procedure, registering yourself with the Provincial Directorate of Migration Management. If staying in this assigned province will put you at risk (for instance, if you may suffer violence from others coming from your home country or have already been subjected to violence during your stay here), you may – at any stage – request your Provincial Directorate of Migration Management to change your province of residence.

As per the Istanbul Convention and the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, you may apply for international protection if you have been subjected to violence in your home country due to being a woman or would risk facing violence if you were to be returned. Also, since you either have suffered or are at risk of suffering violence, you must be prioritized in all internal protection application procedures.

If you are a victim of human trafficking, you may be given a 30-day residence permit as a reflection period in order to recover from your traumatic experiences and decide whether you will cooperate with the authorities. This residence permit may be extended on the basis of an evaluation of your situation, but may not exceed 3 years in any case.

Also, if your application for international protection has been denied on various grounds, but any of the following circumstances applies to you, a deportation order cannot be issued against you and you may be granted a humanitarian residence permit for your stay in Turkey:

– If there are serious indications that you may face a death sentence, torture, inhumane or degrading treatment in the country you are returned to

– If it is risky for you to travel due to serious health problems, age or pregnancy

– If you are undergoing treatment for a life-threatening disease, but have no access to such treatment in the country you will be returned to

– If you are a victim of human trafficking in a victim support programme

– If you are a victim of psychological, physical or sexual violence and your treatment is ongoing.

If you are registered in Turkey as an International Protection Applicant or Temporary Protection Status holder:

You are directly entitled to the rights provided under Law No 6284. You are also subject to the laws of the Republic of Turkey in terms of divorce and custody proceedings.

If you are in Turkey on a Family Residence Permit:

If you are staying in Turkey on a family residence permit, if you are married to a Turkish citizen and are in the process of divorce, you may apply for a short-term residence permit after your divorce given that you have been married for a minimum of 3 years. IF, HOWEVER, YOU HAVE A COURT DECISION ESTABLISHING THAT YOU HAVE BEEN SUBJECTED TO VIOLENCE, YOU ARE CONSIDERED EXEMPT FROM THE 3-YEAR MARRIAGE REQUIREMENT FOR A SHORT-TERM RESIDENCE PERMIT. It is IMPORTANT that you do not miss the 60-day extension period allowed by the law for transferring to a short-term residence permit in order to be able to take advantage of this right. You can only apply for a short-term residence permit BEFORE your family residence permit has expired.

Also, according to the Istanbul Convention, all women whose residence status depends on that of their spouse should be granted an autonomous short-term residence permit irrespective of whether they are married to a Turkish citizen or not.

Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (VPMC)

Violence prevention and monitoring centers have been founded under the name of KOZA (“Cocoon”), pursuant to Law No 6284. VPMCs are operational in all 81 provinces at the time of publication of this brochure.

 

In addition to police stations, district governor’s offices and family courts, you may apply to Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers at any time of the day in order to exercise any of your rights provided under the law. These centers are responsible for referring you to the relevant institutions for you to be able to claim your rights under Law No 6284 if you have been subjected violence and for coordinating the various support mechanisms you may need.

 

VPMCs are also obligated to assist you and give you guidance in finding employment, attending vocational courses, and obtaining psychological support.

 

Provincial Directorates of Labour, Family and Social Policies have the same powers and responsibilities as VPMCs. You may therefore seek support from these Provincial Directorates in provinces where VPMCs are not yet in operation.

 

A list of provinces with VPMCs and their contact details is provided below.

Be more than a bystander to violence, take action. You too can alert the police and report the perpetrator

If you hear or witness anybody being subjected to violence, you may – according to Law No 6284 –  report this incident and notify the authorities by calling 155. The person suffering violence may be your neighbour or simply a stranger on the street.

Do Not Forget!

All application procedures are free of charge.

You may apply at the nearest office, even if this is not in your area of residence.

You must clearly write down in your petition all of the supports you require under this Law.

Protection orders are generally issued for a duration of 6 months.

After the order expires, if you are still in danger of violence, you will have to re-apply for the order to be extended. To do this, you must submit a petition detailing your extension request to the authority that issued the original order.

No kind of EVIDENCE, DOCUMENT, WITNESS, DOCTOR’S REPORT etc. is necessary for such orders.

You have the right to request your address and other ID information provided in your application to be kept confidential. You must state this clearly in your petition as well.

Carry your court order with you at all times.

You may dial Alo 183 and 155 in emergency situations.

You may contact the women’s organizations featured in pages 18-21 of this brochure to ask for support.

– 292 52 32