Turkey criticised after withdrawing from treaty preventing violence against women

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Mar 20, 2021, 06:14 PM(IST)

(File photo) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Photograph:( Reuters )

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Council of Europe, a top rights body, denounced Turkey's decision to withdraw from a treaty it sponsored

There was domestic and international outrage directed at Turkey after its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took the country out of a treaty designed to prevent violence against women. The decision to withdraw from the treaty was announced on Saturday. This step is being considered to be a victory for conservatives in Erdogan's party who had argued the treated damaged family unity.

Council of Europe, a top rights body, denounced Turkey's decision to withdraw from a treaty it sponsored.

"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," Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejcinovic Buricshe said.

The treaty "is widely regarded as the gold standard in international efforts to protect women and girls from the violence that they face every day in our societies," she added.

The 2011 Istanbul Convention, signed by 45 countries and the European Union, requires governments to adopt legislation prosecuting domestic violence and similar abuse as well as marital rape and female genital mutilation. 

'Evil'

The publication of the decree in the official gazette early Saturday immediately sparked anger among Turkish rights groups and calls for protests in Istanbul. 
Gokce Gokcen, deputy chairperson of the main opposition CHP party, said abandoning the treaty meant "keeping women second-class citizens and letting them be killed."

"Despite you and your evil, we will stay alive and bring back the convention," she said on Twitter.

Turkey had been debating a possible departure after an official in Erdogan's party raised dropping the treaty last year.

(With Reuters inputs)

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