Turkey: Convention on combating violence against women must be implemented not abandoned
Turkish authorities should fully implement the Council of Europe treaty designed to prevent violence and domestic abuse against women (the Istanbul Convention) rather than withdraw from it, said Amnesty International ahead of discussions at the ruling AKP party’s Central Executive Committee.
COVID-19 measures, such as lockdown, have led to a spike in reports of violence against women and girls with many women and girls trapped at home with their abusers
Country-wide demonstrations are expected by campaigners calling on the authorities to fully implement the Convention that has been signed by 45 of the Council of Europe Member States and ratified by 34 of them. Turkey was the first country to ratify the treaty.
“There is a bitter irony to the fact that the Turkish authorities are considering withdrawing from a Convention bearing the name of its most iconic city,” said Amnesty International’s Women’s Rights Researcher, Anna Błuś.
“This discussion is deeply worrying, coming at time when COVID-19 measures, such as lockdown, have led to a spike in reports of violence against women and girls with many women and girls trapped at home with their abusers or unable to easily access safety and support services.”
The Istanbul Convention is the first European treaty specifically targeting violence against women and domestic violence. It was opened for signature in May 2011 in Istanbul and entered into force in August 2014. No state has ever withdrawn from it.
Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention would have disastrous consequences for millions of women and girls in the country and to organizations providing vital support to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been several high-profile murders and rapes of women in Turkey by men, including current or former partners.
“Turkey’s withdrawal from the Convention would have disastrous consequences for millions of women and girls in the country and to organizations providing vital support to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Even the discussion of a possible withdrawal is having a huge adverse impact on the safety of women and girls,” said Anna Błuś.
“Rather than becoming the first Council of Europe Member State to withdraw from the Convention, Turkey should ensure the treaty is fully implemented and take immediate action to better protect and promote the rights of women and girls.”
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PLANNED DEMONSTATIONS (all Turkey time):
Bodrum: 4 August 7pm– Tepecik
Datça: 4 August 7pm – Cumhuriyet Square
İstanbul: 5 August 7pm – Kadıköy Beşiktaş İskelesi
İzmir: 5 August 6.30pm – Alsancak
Samsun: 5 August 7.30pm – Süleymaniye Geçidi
Hatay: 5 August 7pm – Antakya/ Köprübaşı
Didim: 5 August 6.30pm –İş Bankası önü
Antalya: 5 August 7pm – Attalos Square
Adana: 5 August 6pm – Heykelli Park
Kocaeli: 5 August 7pm – Belediye İşhanı önü
Ankara: 5 August 7pm – Sakarya Square
Ayvalık: 5 August 7pm – Cumhuriyet Square
Antakya: 5 August 7pm – Köprübaşı