On Thursday (July 1), Turkish police fired tear gas at protesters in Istanbul to protest against Turkey’s withdrawal from a treaty against female killing and domestic abuse. This is controversial.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan withdrew from the world’s first binding treaty to prevent and combat violence against women, the Istanbul Convention, in March. Aroused the anger of the international community.
An Agence France-Presse reporter said that hundreds of people gathered in Istanbul to support the convention on Thursday night, but the protest became tense after the police did not allow them to walk to the popular Taksim Square.
Despite the police’s repeated warnings, the protesters still opposed the roadblocks.
“We will not be silent. We are not afraid. We will not obey.”
Thousands took to the streets of Istanbul to protest Turkey’s formal withdrawal from the treaty aimed at preventing violence against women. pic.twitter.com/aNYdhpssCO
-Deutsche Welle News (@dwnews) July 2, 2021
Demonstrations took place in various parts of Turkey, including the capital Ankara, and the demonstrations ended peacefully.
The 2011 agreement signed by 45 countries and the European Union requires governments to pass legislation related to the prosecution of crimes including marital rape and female genital mutilation.
It should be pointed out that all EU member states have not yet ratified the Istanbul Convention, and some have stated that they will never do so.according to European Commission website Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia have not yet ratified the convention. Bulgarian Constitutional Court ruled that the Istanbul Convention was unconstitutional in 2018Poland has ratified the convention, but the conservative government has changed. Critics claim that the Istanbul Convention is a conspiracy to introduce a “gender ideology” into a traditional conservative society.
Erdogan’s move was because he insisted on getting support from conservative and nationalist groups to maintain his 18-year rule.
Human rights organizations have stated that Erdogan’s decision will put women at greater risk of violence when the killing of women is already widespread in Turkey.
“We are very depressed. Every day a woman we know or don’t know is murdered. There is no guarantee that we will not be treated the same tomorrow,” 35-year-old Nevin Tatar said during a demonstration in Istanbul.
Some protesters holding rainbow flags chanted earlier Thursday: “We will not be silent, we will not be afraid, we will not obey!”
The president insisted on Thursday that Turkey’s commitment to end violence against women will not be affected by his decision.
He said: “Because the fight against violence against women did not start with this treaty, our commitment will not end because we are withdrawing.”
He was speaking at an event in the Presidential Palace in Ankara to develop a national action plan to combat violence against women.
But in comments that might irritate Turkish women, Erdogan said that “this fight is to protect… the honor of our mother and daughter.”
Erdogan advised women to have three children in 2016 and suggested that women be “incomplete” if they have no children.
Erdogan’s senior press assistant, Fahrettin Altun, defended his reason for withdrawing in March, saying that the gender-based abuse mentioned in the treaty had been “hijacked by people trying to normalize homosexuality.” .
He said that the LGBTQ movement is “incompatible” with Turkish social and family values.
Earlier this year, student-led protests in support of broader rights shocked major cities in Turkey.
Since the Ottoman Empire, homosexuality has been legal in Turkey.
But women’s rights groups accused Ankara of withdrawing from the treaty when Erdogan’s ruling Islamic Party was low in support to appease conservatives.
The withdrawal was condemned by the European Union and the United States.
Turkey’s Supreme Administrative Court rejected the attempt to cancel the withdrawal on Tuesday, saying Erdogan had the “power” to make decisions.
According to data from the rights organization We Will Stop Femicide Platform, 300 women were murdered in the country last year, and 189 women have been killed so far this year.
Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Karamad said: “The withdrawal sends a reckless and dangerous message to the perpetrators of abuse, mutilation and killing: they can continue to do so with impunity.”
Before withdrawing, women’s organizations urged Ankara to apply the treaty to protect women.
“We are fighting for the implementation of the convention. They believe they can withdraw from the convention with one person’s words. But women will not give up,” 35-year-old Ipek Deniz told AFP in Istanbul.
The Pride parade was banned in Istanbul Province last weekend. The police used force while detaining dozens of protesters and pressed an AFP photographer to the ground, triggering a formal complaint.
The parade is held in Istanbul every year, and until 2015, thousands of people participated in the event.
Critics say that the ban on pride marches and withdrawal from the treaty shows that Erdogan was spreading Islam when he first came to power as prime minister in 2003.