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October 4, 2020

Call for Support to Protest Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention

Turkey’s Government started a discussion on Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention that has been in force in the country since 2014.

Istanbul Convention (The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence. For the original text of the convention click here.), the first European treaty specifically targeting violence against women and domestic violence, recently caused dispute inside Turkey’s government with conservative claims that it would corrode traditional Turkish family and values.  Amnesty International has stated that withdrawal would have “disastrous consequences for millions of women and girls”.

Turkey has an alarming number of femicide rates – 474 women were killed only in 2019 that is followed by 276 femicide events in 2020 until now.  Here you can find the online Monument Counter that is updated every day.

Emerging data shows an increase in calls to domestic violence helplines in many countries since the outbreak of COVID-19. Globally, even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, 1 in 3 women experienced physical or sexual violence mostly by an intimate partner.

Reports also indicate that Poland, Croatia, and Serbia are among the countries that are considering withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.

We claim that the Government’s withdrawal will lead to more violence and sexual exploitation of women and children in Turkey.

Amid the fear of Turkey’s possible withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, 155 prominent women of letters published a joint statement on defending the convention. They emphasized that femicide had turned into an epidemic in Turkey, saying it is unacceptable to withdraw from the convention. Thousands of women simultaneously took to the streets across Turkey protesting the possible withdrawal and calling for full implementation of the Istanbul Convention.

Hand in Hand for Women fully supports women’s protests in Turkey.

We call all women’s rights organizations and governments to protest Turkey’s step back from the Istanbul Convention. 

We kindly request highly regarded members of the European Women’s Lobby to support us in our protest to eliminate the possible withdrawals from women’s rights as such both in Turkey and different countries in Europe.