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Man arrested in Turkey over viral video purporting to show him beating ex-wife

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A man was arrested in Turkey on Sunday after a video on social media purportedly showing him beating his ex-wife on a street sparked outrage, state media reported.

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The suspect was ordered detained by a court in the Black Sea province of Samsun on charges of “intentional attempted murder”, the official news agency Anadolu said.

The video, which went viral on social media, shows the man beating up his 24-year-old ex-wife in front of their five-year-old child as residents called on him to stop.

The assault -- which came shortly before International Women’s Day -- sparked condemnation on social media, with users calling on the authorities not to let him go unpunished.

The woman, known only by her initials E.M., was taken to hospital with bruises on her face and head but doctors said she was in good health, the news agency said.

In a statement to prosectors, the suspect named as Ibrahim Zarap said he felt “remorse,” according to Anadolu.

He claimed his ex-wife had threatened not to allow him further contact with their child.

“I was shocked and I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said.

Members of KCDP (We Will Stop Femicides Platform - Kadin Cinayetlerini Durduracagiz Platformu) hold placards reading 'stop femicide' and 'We will enforce the Istanbul convention', during a protest for a better implementation of the Istanbul Convention and the Turkish Law 6284 for protection of the family and prevention of violence against women, in Ankara on November 22, 2020. (AFP)
Members of KCDP (We Will Stop Femicides Platform - Kadin Cinayetlerini Durduracagiz Platformu) hold placards reading 'stop femicide' and 'We will enforce the Istanbul convention', during a protest for a better implementation of the Istanbul Convention and the Turkish Law 6284 for protection of the family and prevention of violence against women, in Ankara on November 22, 2020. (AFP)

Domestic violence and femicide remain a serious problem in Turkey.

Last year, 300 women were murdered according to the rights group We Will Stop Femicide Platform.

Angry over the rising number of women killed by men, women often take to streets in Istanbul and other cities to demand that the government adheres to a landmark treaty on preventing domestic violence.

The so-called Istanbul convention is the world’s first binding instrument to prevent and combat violence against women, from marital rape to female genital mutilation.

A ruling party official said last year that the convention was “wrong” and speculated over a possible withdrawal.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday he considered violence against women a “crime against humanity”.

“I condemn once more in the strongest terms any kind of physical or mental violence against women and discrimination,” he said in a message for Women’s Day on Monday.

Women are expected to gather in Istanbul on Monday for the annual “Feminist Night March”.

At last year’s event, police blocked all roads to the city’s central Taksim square and fired tear gas on the protesters.

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