Women empowerment in Turkey and violence against Turkish women | IAS TARGET IAS Target

The removal of Turkey from the Istanbul Convention on violence against Turkish women

15 Nov 2021

Category : Social justice

Topic: The removal of Turkey from the Istanbul Convention on violence against Turkish women


The removal of Turkey from the Istanbul Convention on violence against Turkish women has sparked protests nationwide. Turkey has taken this step despite a surprisingly high rate of violence and murder.

What is the Istanbul Convention?

The Council of Europe has enacted the Istanbul Convention as a human rights treaty. This was the first legally binding means of "creating a comprehensive legal framework and approach to combat violence against women," preventing domestic violence, protecting victims, and being charged. The focus is on the prosecution of the perpetrator.

The goal:

  • Prevent and prosecute all forms of violence against women. Promote gender equality, ensuring the protection and rehabilitation of women victims of violence.
  • Thirty-four states of the European Union have signed this treaty.
  • Turkey was the first country to sanction the Istanbul Convention and incorporate it into domestic law.

What is the reason for Turkey's withdrawal?

Even if the reason for Turkey's withdrawal is not mentioned in the official journal, however, it is claimed that this treaty means a traditional family structure, promotes divorce and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ in society. Therefore, the government justified this move Homosexuality-Incompatible with Turkish social and family values. Furthermore, local Turkish law protects women's rights and work towards women empowerment.

How severe is the problem of Turkish women?

EIn Turkey, violence against women and honour killings continue. The country is placed 133rd out of 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2021. The Turkish government does not hold official records of pesticides. Domestic violence against women and girls is intensifying in the Covid 19 pandemic. The issue of violence against women emerged when Turkish women's rights activists sought a black-and-white challenge on Instagram to draw attention to the astonishing rate of murders in Turkey.

How have the various organizations and the international community reacted?

UN: Turkey's withdrawal will prevent and undermine previous efforts to combat violence against women. It can hinder progress in strengthening national legislative, political and institutional frameworks. The United States characterized the move as a retreat of "disappointment" in the fight of women empowerment.