Turkey withdraws from Istanbul Convention following ‘presidential decision’

DESPITE being the first signatory nation to the Istanbul Convention in 2011, Turkey has announced its withdrawal from the treaty, following last week’s ‘presidential decision’.

The Istanbul Convention that Turkey ratified in 2012 was an important step in advancing women’s rights, upholding zero-tolerance against violence and obliges its member states to consider violence as a violation of human rights.

Women’s groups in the nation have been protesting the move and pointed out that the decision was made despite gender-based violence still being pervasive.

The groups also noted that there were 474 recorded cases of domestic violence-related murders back in 2019, which was the highest number in the nation over a decade.

Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) sees this withdrawal as heavily regressive toward achieving gender equality on domestic and international levels.

It also poses immense danger to women and other gender minorities, considering that rates of femicides, honour killings and domestic violence are expected to be especially heightened in the current pandemic.

“The Convention compelled Turkey to be accountable toward the goal of gender equality and the
elimination of gender-based violence through the convention’s reporting mechanisms. International laws like the Istanbul Convention and CEDAW are standards that the government, civil society, and the public can refer to in improving national policies,” WAO said in a statement earlier today.

That said, WAO insists on standing in solidarity with all women’s groups, LGBTQIA+ groups, and all individuals susceptible to or have been affected by gender-based violence in Turkey which may be exacerbated by the government’s unjust decision to withdraw from the Istanbul convention.

“It is imperative that nations continue to recognise the severity of gender-based violence around the world. Essential mechanisms that can aid in the advancement of women’s rights and the elimination of gender-based violence nationally and internationally should not be disregarded in working toward a world free from gender violence,” – March 31, 2021


Photo credit: BBC

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