Violence is escalating in Turkey … and Erdogan is withdrawing from the Convention for the Protection of Women

While Turkish authorities continue to crack down on women rights defenders in the country, such as the prosecution and arrest of women lawyers who defend the rights of women killed by men as a result of domestic violence after they refused to continue or petition for marriage, according to the official newspaper of the country announced on Saturday that President Rajab Tayyip Erdogan had resigned from an international agreement to protect women, despite calls from activists who see the deal as a means of combating escalating domestic violence.

The Council of Europe agreement reached in Istanbul committed itself to preventing domestic violence, prosecuting it and eliminating it, and promoting equality. Turkey, which signed the treaty in 2011, has seen an increase in femicide over the past year.

The latest statistics show that one of them was killed by men every day for the past year.

Angry protests

Turkey has often witnessed protests by angry women who assume responsibility for the murder of women on behalf of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government, but the police are countering them with violence.

No reason was given for the withdrawal, either, but officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party of Erdogan said last year the government was considering withdrawing from the deal amid arguments over how to stem the increase in violence against women.

Conservatives in Turkey say the deal undermines family structures and encourages violence. They also reject the principle of gender equality in the Istanbul Convention and see therein a promotion of homosexuality in view of the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Critics of the withdrawal from the agreement also said it would encourage Turkey’s violation of the values ​​of the European Union, which it is hoping to join.

Turkey does not keep official statistics on femicides. World Health Organization data showed that 38% of women in Turkey experience violence from their partner, compared to 25% in Europe.

Cover up the crimes

Turkish women’s rights defenders accuse the authorities of their country of covering up the perpetrators of these crimes and of evading the implementation of the provisions of international agreements that Ankara signed years ago.

Although Turkey has taken tough measures to protect women, feminist organizations claim that all of this “remained ink on paper”. In 2012, Ankara expanded the Domestic Violence Law to include unmarried women after only including qualified women, but this law was not applied. Also.

Istanbul treaty

And last year Ankara announced its intention to withdraw from the “Istanbul Treaty”, which is one of several international agreements that could protect Turkey from violence.

This resulted in large numbers of women taking to the streets and angry protests. As a result, security agencies arrested dozens of their participants.

It is noteworthy that the “Istanbul Treaty” is an international agreement that Ankara wanted to discuss with the European Council for Human Rights in 2011 and that came into force after it was signed in August 2014. The aim is to create legal mechanisms to combat gender-based violence and discrimination.

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