Turkey has officially withdrawn from Istanbul Convention

Now it's a fact: Turkey is no longer part of the Istanbul Convention for the protection of violence against women. President Erdoğan announced the withdrawal by decree in March. On 1 July, the day it went into effect, large demonstrations were held in several Turkish cities. The highest administrative court has rejected a lawsuit filed against the decree. The disillusionment in Turkey and outside the country is real.

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Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

The latest enemy on the list

Once again, Erdoğan is focused only on maintaining his grip on power, observes ART Istanbul correspondent Karin Senz in Deutschlandfunk:

“He wants to continue to cater to his nationalist and conservative voters. A year ago he turned Istanbul's famous Hagia Sophia back into a mosque. But the effect has since faded. There is no appetite at present for spectacular military offensives in Northern Syria, so it seems 'rebellious' women and the LGBTI+ scene must serve as the bogeyman now! And he is quite literally putting their lives at risk. ... The hundreds of femicides committed each year by boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, fathers or brothers - as well as the countless attacks - testify to this. The message that is going out to these men is: it is your right, you needn't fear punishment. The fact that there is a national law against violence against women is fading from the public eye.”

Habertürk (TR) /

Propaganda of the LGBT opponents has won

Even Nagehan Alçı, a pro-government journalist, expresses her regrets at the withdrawal in Habertürk:

“The Istanbul Convention, which is the first international and binding regulation that defines violence against women as a human rights violation and form of discrimination, has tragically fallen victim to false propaganda. The convention, which was written in this country and of which for years we all proudly claimed to be the first signatories, was taken away from us women on the grounds of utterly imaginary and absurd accusations that it would motivate people to become LGBT.”

La Stampa (IT) /

The fight continues

The wave of protests against the withdrawal will not be that easy for Erdoğan to contain, La Stampa comments:

“Turkey has taken to the streets. In Ankara, Instanbul, Izmir and other big cities tens of thousands of demonstrators, mostly women, holding placards and dressed in purple - a symbol of mourning for the more than 300 girls, wives, girlfriends, daughters who are killed every year - have taken to the streets. ... To compensate for the decision, the president presented his own plan for 'combating violence' on 1 July. ... According to activists and NGOs this is pure propaganda, nothing but smoke and mirrors. The reality is that in the two decades of AKP rule women's position in society has regressed. ... The fight continues.”