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Turkey withdraws from European Treaty protecting women

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Admire these women so much.  The world should get behind them in mass.  There is change in the air with women speaking out more and more about abuse and demanding equality worldwide.  Long overdue. 

Women protesters in Turkey

Turkey has withdrawn from a landmark European treaty protecting women from violence.


The county was the first to sign the Istanbul Convention treaty, named after its largest city, a decade ago.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan provided no reason for the withdrawal, but the annulment is a blow to women's rights advocates, who say the agreement is crucial to combating domestic violence.

The convention had split Mr Erdogan's ruling AK Party (AKP) and even his family.

Last year, officials said the government was mulling pulling out amid a row over how to curb growing violence against women.

The Council of Europe's Secretary-General, Marija Pejčinović Burić, called the decision "devastating".

"This move is a huge setback to these efforts and all the more deplorable because it compromises the protection of women in Turkey, across Europe and beyond," she said.

The Istanbul Convention states that men and women have equal rights and obliges state authorities to take steps to prevent gender-based violence against women, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators.

Some officials from Mr Erdoğan's Islam-oriented party have advocated a review of the agreement, arguing it encourages divorce and undermines the traditional family, which they say are contrary to the country's conservative values.

Critics also claim the treaty promotes homosexuality through the use of categories like gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Hate speech and femicide on the rise in Turkey

Critics of the withdrawal have said it would put Turkey further out of step with the European Union, which it remains as a candidate to join.

They argue the convention, and legislation approved in its wake, need to be implemented more stringently.

Turkey does not keep official statistics on femicide.

But the rate roughly tripled in the last 10 years, according to a group that monitors femicide.

A total of 77 women have been killed since the start of the year, according to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform.

At least 409 women were killed in 2020, according to the group.

World Health Organization data has shown 38 per cent of women in Turkey are subject to violence from a partner in their lifetime, compared to about 25 per cent in Europe.


"Shame on this bigotry, patriarchy, heartlessness that protects bullies and murderers instead of women," Turkish author Elif Safak said on Twitter of the withdrawal.

Hate speech has been on the rise in Turkey, including the interior minister who described LGBT people as "perverts" in a tweet.

Women's groups and their allies, who have been protesting to keep the convention intact, immediately called for demonstrations across the country on Saturday under the slogan: "Withdraw the decision, apply the treaty."

Turkey's Minister for Family, Labour and Social policies Zehra Zumrut Selcuk tweeted that women's rights are still protected by Turkish laws and the judicial system is "dynamic and strong enough" to enact new regulations.

She also tweeted that violence against women is a crime against humanity and the government would continue to have "zero tolerance" for it.

Turkey was the first country to sign the Council of Europe's "Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence" at a committee of ministers meeting in Istanbul in 2011.

The law came into force in 2014 and Turkey's constitution says international agreements have the force of law.

Some lawyers claimed that the treaty is still active, arguing the president cannot withdraw from it without the approval of parliament, which ratified it in 2012.

But Mr Erdoğan gained sweeping powers with his re-election in 2018, setting in motion the change in Turkey from a parliamentary system to an executive


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There has been a HUGE hybrid war in Eastern Europe over the so called Istanbul Convention. I d say its fuelled by Putin and US Evangelists. The idea they try to push is that the Convention is a mean to push LGBTQ "propaganda" onto young children, promote "3rd" gender etc. non sense. The Bulgarian public was so psyched that even the word gender came to mean a person with no particular sex, gay etc. and it became quite derogatory. The alt right uses the Convention as a threat: like it aims to end the "conventional family". I am ashamed to say they did win: last year the Bulgarian Constitutional Court came up with an absurd decision deeming that the Convention was in breach with our constitution. And sofar we have signed the Convention, but we haven't ratified it. The situation/propaganda in other Eastern European countries are similar. In July 2020, the Polish government announced its intention to withdraw from the Convention. 


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It's appalling. 

And the horrible attacks from extremist right parties to the women rights in Europe is horrible.

It's clear the white misogynistic straight man is aware he's losing influence and is attacking like a scared cat. 


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