Turkey Does Not Care for Women Rights : Erdogan Signs a Decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention

Erdogan has proved that Turkey does not care for women rights. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey signed a decree early Saturday that annuls Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention, which was aimed at helping women fight domestic violence. It is being considered as a big blow to women’s rights advocates who say the agreement is crucial to combating domestic violence.

Turkey Does Not Care for Women Rights : Erdogan Signs a Decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention
Turkey Does Not Care for Women Rights : Erdogan Signs a Decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention

The decree in question says that “the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, which was signed by Turkey on May 11, 2011 and approved with the Cabinet Decree no. 2012/2816 on February 10, 2012, shall be terminated on the part of Turkey as per the Article 3 of the Presidential Decree no. 9.”

Turkey Does Not Care for Women Rights : Erdogan Signs a Decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention
Turkey Does Not Care for Women Rights : Erdogan Signs a Decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention

Women’s Platform for Equality (EŞİK)tweeted, “Don’t ever think of laying your hands on the İstanbul Convention.”

Journalist-TV presenter-economist Cem Seymen: “Those who want to inflict violence on women have women. Women have deteriorated to the position of second-class people. What a great pity for our country. The guarantee of thousands of women subjected to violence has disappeared as the İstanbul Convention has gone to dustbin. He says, ‘Be scared’ to the defenseless women who live in unease.”

Hundreds of women gathered in Istanbul to protest against the move on Saturday.

The Council of Europe’s Secretary General, Marija Pejčinović Burić, called the decision “devastating” and a “huge setback” to these efforts and “all the more deplorable because it compromises the protection of women in Turkey, across Europe and beyond.”

The Istanbul Convention states that men and women have equal rights and obliges state authorities to take steps to prevent gender-based violence against women, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators.

Some officials from Erdogan’s Islam-oriented party had advocated for a review of the agreement, arguing it is inconsistent with Turkey’s conservative values by encouraging divorce and undermining the traditional family unit.

Related Article Poor Leadership Of Turkey’s Erdogan : Unemployment Rising, Home Sales Shrinking

Officials in Erdogan’s pro-Islam administration claim the treaty promotes homosexuality through the use of categories like gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. They see that as a threat to Turkish families. Hate speech has been on the rise in Turkey, including the interior minister who described LGBT people as “perverts” in a tweet. Erdogan has rejected their existence altogether.

Turkey Does Not Care for Women Rights : Erdogan Signs a Decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention
Turkey Does Not Care for Women Rights : Erdogan Signs a Decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention

Women’s groups and their allies who have been protesting to keep the convention intact immediately called for demonstrations across the country Saturday under the slogan “Withdraw the decision, implement the treaty.” They said their years-long struggle would not be erased in one night. Many women responded to the decision with “anger and outrage.”

As per DW’s Julia Hahn “Erdogan has bowed in to pressure from hardliners in his coalition,” Hahn continued, noting that the Turkish president is trying to use this issue “to re-energize his voter base amidst a period of economic downturn.”

As thousands rally across the nation today, organizers are expecting more protests in the next days and weeks to come, she added.

Rights groups say violence against and killing of women is on the rise in Turkey but the interior minister called that a “complete lie” on Saturday.

Meanwhile reports coming in from Turkey, Police in Ankara detained two women who participated in the protest against Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.

Turkey Does Not Care for Women Rights : Erdogan Signs a Decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention
Turkey Does Not Care for Women Rights : Erdogan Signs a Decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention
Turkey Does Not Care for Women Rights : Erdogan Signs a Decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention

Women dying in Turkey each year

A total of 77 women have been killed since the start of the year, according to the “We Will Stop Femicide” platform. Some 409 women were killed in 2020, with dozens found dead under suspicious circumstances, according to the group.

Numerous women’s rights groups slammed the decision. Advocacy group Women’s Coalition Turkey said the withdrawal from a human rights agreement was a first in Turkey. “It is clear that this decision will further encourage the murderers of women, harassers, rapists,” their statement said.

Turkey’s justice minister said the government was committed to combating violence against women.

“We continue to protect our people’s honor, the family and our social fabric with determination,” Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul tweeted.

Erdogan has repeatedly stressed the “holiness” of the family and called on women to have three children. His communications director, Fahrettin Altun, said the government’s motto was ‘Powerful Families, Powerful Society.”

Many women suffer physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husbands or partners, but up-to-date official statistics are unavailable. The Istanbul Convention requires states to collect data.

Hundreds of women and allies gathered in Istanbul, wearing masks and holding banners. Their demonstration has so far been allowed but the area was surrounded by police and a coronavirus curfew begins in the evening.

They shouted pro-LGBT slogans and called for Erdogan’s resignation. They cheered as a woman speaking through a megaphone said, “You cannot close up millions of women in their homes. You cannot erase them from the streets and the squares.”

Turkey was the first country to sign the Council of Europe’s “Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence” at a committee of ministers meeting in Istanbul in 2011. The law came into force in 2014 and Turkey’s constitution says international agreements have the force of law.

Some lawyers claimed Saturday that the treaty is still active, arguing the president cannot withdraw from it without the approval of parliament, which ratified the Istanbul Convention in 2012.

But Erdogan gained sweeping powers with his re-election in 2018, setting in motion Turkey changing from a parliamentary system of government to an executive presidency.

The justice minister wrote on Twitter that while parliament approves treaties which the executive branch puts into effect, the executive also has the authority to withdraw from them.

Women lawmakers from Turkey’s main opposition party said they will not recognize the decree and called it another “coup” on parliament, which had unanimously accepted the treaty, and a usurpation of the rights of 42 million women.

Points to Ponder

Turkey that wants to become the leader of Muslim Ummah is setting a dangerous precedent. He is making it abundantly clear that a pro-Islam administration does not care for women rights.

Why are the Leftist/Liberal groups belonging to George Soros and China that have disrupted normal lives in other countries due to protests for one reason or the other silent when it comes to Radical Islamist Country like Turkey?

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