Turkey Withdraws From Treaty on Violence Against Women

Turkey has left the Istanbul Convention, a Council of Europe treaty intended to prevent violence and domestic abuse against women, according to a decree published on Saturday in the Official Gazette.

The discussion on the treaty, signed by 45 countries and the European Union in 2011 in Istanbul, divided the ruling AK Parti and the country last year as conservatives argued it was undermining traditional values and family structure. Protesters took to the streets across the country to demonstrate that the pact should be bolstered by legislative changes and needs to be implemented strictly.

Opposition leaders criticized the decision on Twitter. Chairman of the Republican People’s Party Kemal Kilicdaroglu called on women to defend their rights, while IYI Party head Meral Aksener promised to revive the Istanbul Convention.

Last year, 300 women were murdered and a further 171 deaths were reported as suspicious in Turkey, according to human rights group We Will Stop Femicide Platform.

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