Greta Gamberini, International Affairs Officer
On August 5, 2020 large crowds gathered in Turkey’s largest cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, to protest gender-based violence. The protests occurs amidst rumors of withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).
The governing AK Party is considering withdrawing from the Convention, notwithstanding the fact that Turkey was the first country to ratify it when it entered into force in 2014. Withdrawal from the Convention, which represents the world’s first binding instrument to comprehensively define, prevent, and combat violence against women, is a dangerous signal and cause of worry for women and girls in Turkey, where more than 400 women were murdered last year alone.
While the decision is set to be made next week, the ruling party has expressed its dissent with the aims of the Convention, claiming it undermines family values and traditional gender roles, while promoting LGBTI rights.
To express dissent with the move and express solidarity with each other, thousands of women gathered in the streets of Turkey’s largest cities. While the protests were largely peaceful, human rights activists have reported the arrest and detention of at least 10 women.
Read more about the protests here: