Turkey formally quits Istanbul Convention

Turkey formally withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty to prevent violence against women, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pulled the country out of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul Convention on March 19, via an executive order published in the Official Gazette.

The move came after a months-long debate over whether Turkey should withdraw, with pro-government conservative and Islamist groups arguing against the convention, saying that it undermines Turkish family values and promoted homosexuality.

Erdoğan’s move led thousands to protest and the Council of State received legal appeals to suspend the withdrawal from groups including the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), bar associations and women’s organisations. The court rejected those appeals on Tuesday. Ankara’s withdrawal also triggered heavy criticism from the international community, including the United States and the European Union.

Violence against women and femicide remain serious problems in Turkey, with media covering the issue on a daily basis.


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