Women in Turkey have rallied in large numbers due to concerns that country may withdraw from the Istanbul Convention . The Convention deals with systemic violence against women, and the state’s role in preventing domestic abuse.
Citing the erosion of family values and traditional gender roles, a small but determined group has lobbied Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to withdraw the country. What seems behind the effort is an anti-Western sentiment, and the desire to revoke gender-based protections.
Turkey has a long history of femicides, the killing of women and girls by men because of their gender [2A]. Even with the Istanbul Convention in place, 417 Turkish women died as the result of domestic violence last year. Thus far this year, 205 have been killed.
The murder of 27 y.o. Pinar Gultekin by her former boyfriend ignited the Turkish women’s protests [2B]. Anti-femicide protests have, also, taken place in France, South Africa, Mexico, and Chile in recent years.
Meanwhile, Poland, Serbia, and Croatia are considering abandoning the Convention. Continue reading