Women in Turkey protest over Erdogan’s decision to exit domestic violence treaty

WION Web Team
Ankara, Turkey Published: Mar 28, 2021, 12:47 PM(IST)

Woman protesters in Turkey Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

President Tayyip Erdogan stunned European allies with last week’s announcement that Turkey was pulling out of the Istanbul Convention, named after the Turkish city where it was drafted in 2011.

Several thousand women took to the streets in Istanbul on Saturday to demand Turkey reverses its decision to withdraw from an international treaty against domestic abuse which it once championed.

Turkey was one of the first signatories of the treaty, and women say their safety has been jeopardised by the president’s surprising move.

President Tayyip Erdogan stunned European allies with last week’s announcement that Turkey was pulling out of the Istanbul Convention, named after the Turkish city where it was drafted in 2011.

On Saturday, amid a heavy police presence, protesters gathered in an Istanbul seafront square waving purple flags and chanting slogans including “Murders of women are political”. One placard read, “Protect women, not the perpetrators of violence.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) data shows 38 per cent of women in Turkey are subject to violence from a partner in their lifetime, compared with 25 per cent in Europe.

Estimates of femicide rates in Turkey, for which there are no official figures, have roughly tripled over the last 10 years, according to a monitoring group. So far this year 87 women have been murdered by men or died under suspicious circumstances.

Conservatives in Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party say the convention, which stresses gender equality and forbids discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, undermines family structures and encourages violence.
 

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