ISTANBUL, Turkey: Turkish police in Istanbul fired tear gas on women demanding the country’s re-adoption of a landmark international treaty aimed at protecting women from violence.
Similar protests were held in Ankara and other cities.
The protesting women, holding colorful banners, chanting slogans and vowing to not abandon their support of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention, marched along Istiklal, Istanbul’s main pedestrian street, to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on 25th November.
The Cumhuriyet newspaper reported riot police fired tear gas when a group of protesters tried to breach barricades they set up, and at least one protester was injured.
Turkey withdrew from the Convention in March when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suspended Turkey’s participation in the declaration.
Turkey’s withdrawal was formalized in July, after a court appeal to prevent the move was rejected.
Some officials from Erdogan’s Islamic party, who argued that the agreement was inconsistent with Turkey’s conservative values, called for it to be reviewed.
In response, the government announced its own “Action Plan for Combating Violence against Women,” which includes reviewing judicial processes, improving protection services and gathering evidence of a crime.
But according to human rights groups, violence against Turkish women is increasing.
The advocacy group ‘We Will Stop Femicide’ said that in 2021, 353 women have been murdered in Turkey, while 409 were killed in 2020.
In October, 18 women were killed by men and 19 others were found dead under suspicious circumstances, it added.