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November 25, 2020

Nov 25: Women’s Rights Organizations Call on Turkey to commit to the Istanbul Convention

In 2012, Turkey was the first country to sign the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention. The Istanbul Convention is the first European treaty specifically targeting violence against women and domestic violence.

However, this year, the Turkish government has started to question the decision to sign and ratify the Convention, as some politicians has claimed that it would corrode traditional Turkish family and values.  

Femicides and violence against women are rampant in Turkey. 474 women were killed in 2019, and so far, 335 women have been killed in 2020. Inefficient State protection for women and poor legal response to perpetrators makes it harder every day to keep women’s liberties intact and lives secure. If the Government withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, the women’s movement fear that it would pave the way for more violence against women.

Today, on the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women, women’s rights organizations are calling on:

  • The Turkish Government to fully implement the Istanbul Convention.
  • The EU to put pressure on the Turkish government to commit to the Convention and relevant laws to eliminate all forms of violence against women in Turkey.
  • Women’s rights organizations to join the global protests against Turkey’s possible step back from women’s rights.    
  • All EU Member States to ratify the Istanbul Convention.

As we celebrate international conventions on eliminating violence against women and girls and reminding states of their obligations, we hope more organizations will join the global protests and campaigns for the full implementation of women’s and girls’ rights in Turkey and across Europe.

Hand in Hand for Women and Swedish Women’s Lobby