07/01/2021, 12.16
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Ankara leaves the Istanbul Convention in defence of women. Violence on the rise

As of today Turkey officially withdraws from the international treaty signed in 2011. A motion presented to the Court of Appeal was rejected this week. Feminist leader promises to continue the battle in defence of rights. In the last five years at least one woman is murdered every day.

Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - As of this morning, Turkey is no longer an integral part of the international treaty against violence against women, better known as the "Istanbul Convention" because it was signed in 2011 in the country's economic and commercial metropolis.

Thus, a decision announced in March by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been applied, raising the indignation and condemnation of many activist organizations and Western governments, including several allied nations.

Human rights movements and ordinary citizens are lined up, ready to take to the streets and demonstrate. The fear is that the police could intervene with force and suppress protests with beatings and arrests, as happened in recent days on the occasion of the “Pride 2021” parades in favour of LGBTQ rights.

This week the Court of Appeal rejected the appeal lodged by some associations to block the process of withdrawal from the Convention. " "We will continue our struggle," Canan Gullu, president of the Federation of Turkish Women's Associations, said on Wednesday. "Turkey is shooting itself in the foot with this decision."

She said that since March, women and other vulnerable groups had been more reluctant to ask for help and less likely to receive it, with COVID-19 fuelled economic difficulties causing a dramatic increase in violence against them. he direct consequence, she warns, is a "dramatic increase" in violence against women.

The Istanbul Convention, negotiated and signed in 2011, commits its members to prevent and prosecute domestic violence, while promoting equality and equal opportunities between the two sexes. The decision to withdraw resulted in condemnation of the United States and the European Union.

According to a monitoring group, "at least one femicide" per day has occurred in the last five years, with a trend steadily increasing. That is why it would be useful to apply the convention more rigorously and expand it, instead of withdrawing as did Erdogan. According to the AKP, the president's party, it "undermines the family structure" that underlies and protects Turkish society, increasingly linked to a fundamentalist vision of Islam.

This month, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic sent a letter to Turkey's interior and justice ministers expressing concern about a rise in homophobic narratives by some officials, some of which targeted the convention.

"All the measures provided for by the Istanbul Convention reinforce family foundations and links by preventing and combating the main cause of destruction of families, that is, violence," she said.


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