Turkey withdraws from the Istanbul Convention

Turkey officially withdrew from the Istanbul Convention on Wednesday, sparking nationwide protests in a country where domestic violence is prevalent. According to Amnesty International, at least 300 women were murdered last year alone.

“The withdrawal sends a reckless and dangerous message to perpetrators who abuse, maim and kill: that they can carry on doing so with impunity,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard.

The Istanbul Convention is a widely accepted human rights treaty that offers a legal framework to protect women from violence and promote gender equality in Europe through legislation, education and awareness raising.  

Out of the 47 Council of Europe members, 34 countries have signed and ratified it. Turkey is the first and only Council of Europe member to withdraw from an international human rights convention.

The withdrawal comes three months after President Erdoğan announced the decision by presidential decree in March.

“In the months since President Erdoğan issued his decree, women in Turkey and beyond have been talking about the Convention more than ever and taking to the streets to defend what it stands for,” Callamard said. “The fight to uphold the human rights of all those impacted by the scourge of gender-based violence continues.”

Source: Amnesty International

Featured image: First anniversary of the EU signature to the Council of Europe Convention to prevent and combat gender-based violence and domestic violence, the so-called Istanbul Convention. Photo by ALDE Group / CC BY-ND 2.0

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