Turkey today abandoned the Istanbul Convention, a pan-European treaty to prevent violence against women, signed by 45 countries a decade ago.
The departure announced in the official state newspaper was taken by a decree issued by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had signed the same treaty as prime minister in 2011.
Turkey was among a group of 14 pioneer states, which signed the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence in Istanbul in May of that year.
The Eurasian country, which according to its critics never implemented the convention, thus becomes the first state to abandon the treaty, after having been the first to ratify it.
The Turkish government’s intention to abandon the treaty, led by the Islamic party AKP, sparked mass protests in several cities across the country last year.
Erdogan said in August 2020 that he would withdraw from the agreement “if the people wanted him” and announced his intention to create his own treaty.
Conservative Islamic groups pressured the AKP for this withdrawal, considering that some articles have a negative impact “on family structure” and go against “national values”.
They claim that the text promotes homosexuality, using the term “sexual orientation”, and attacks family values, describing the relationships of “people living together” without specifying whether they are married.
Within the AKP itself, there are critical representatives of the abandonment of the pact, including some female deputies and KADEM, a women’s organization close to the party and whose deputy director is Sümeyye Erdogan, the president’s daughter.
Turkey recorded 284 sexist murders of women in 2020, according to estimates by Bianet, an NGO that has been collecting these cases for a decade in the absence of official figures.
Source: with Agencies