Dying to Divorce

Chloe Fairweather

More than one in three Turkish women have experienced domestic violence, and femicides are rising. Brave Turkish activists and lawyers fight for justice for the victims. But after the 2016 coup attempt, the government tightens its grip on society and their work is becoming increasingly dangerous.

Arzu was forced into an arranged marriage at 14 years old. When she found out her husband was having a mistress, she wanted a divorce. He pretended to go along with it, but then suddenly pulled out a gun, forced her to lie on the ground and shot her in the arms and legs. ‘I won’t shoot to kill you’, he said. ‘I will just make you crawl.’

Often, the perpetrators of these kinds of attacks in Turkey receive a reduced sentence – or no sentence at all. When the judge feels the victim ‘provoked’ her husband, for example by disobeying him, he might treat him with leniency. Brave activist group ‘We Will Stop Femicide’ is determined to fight this scandal. We follow them working for Arzu and for Kübra, a successful TV presenter who is paralysed after her husband beat her. But when in 2016 a failed coup attempt shocks Turkey, the conservative government goes after everyone it deems an enemy of the state. And that includes women demanding their rights.


Chloe Fairweather
Country of production
United Kingdom, Norway
82 minutes
Spoken language
English, Turkish
World Sales
Java Films