Thousands of women across Turkey protested on Wednesday, demanding the government does not withdraw from an international treaty that prevents domestic violence. The Istanbul Convention is the world’s first binding instrument to prevent and combat violence against women, from marital rape to female genital mutilation.
The protests began in July after a ruling party official said the convention was “wrong” and speculated over possible withdrawal. Hundreds rallied in Istanbul, with placards reading`: “Women will not forgive violence”, “Apply the Istanbul Convention” and “Long live women’s solidarity,” an AFP correspondent said. There were also protests in Ankara, Izmir and in the southern cities of Adana and Antalya.
In recent years, women’s rights groups have accused authorities of failing to implement law 6284 — created following Turkey’s ratification of the treaty in 2012 — leaving women vulnerable to violence often by their partners, husbands or relatives. Rights group “We Will Stop Femicide Platform” says 146 women were killed by men in the first half of 2020. The group says 474 women were killed last year while the figure was 180 in 2010.Last month, Poland’s right-wing government said it would withdraw from the treaty, sparking mass protests.