Turkey pulls out of Istanbul Convention


  • Recently, the Turkey’s controversial exit from Istanbul Convention on Violence against Women has received severe criticism from various quarters and has led to protests across the country.

Key Details

  • The officials of Turkey’s nationalist party claimed that the convention demeans traditional family structure, promotes divorces and encourages acceptance of LGBTQ in the society.

  • They argued that the Istanbul Convention, originally intended to promote women’s rights, was hijacked by a group of people attempting to normalize homosexuality.

  • Besides, the LGBT community uses the references in the treaty for demanding equal rights and broader acceptance in the society, which has caused a major worry for the Turkish conservative government.

How serious is the problem of violence against women in Turkey?

  • Violence against women and honour killings are persistent in Turkey. The country ranks 133 out of 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap report 2021.
  • According to UN women data, 38 per cent of women in Turkey face violence from a partner in their lifetime.
  • The Turkish government does not maintain any official records on femicides.
  • A report by KAGIDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey) states that violence against women and femicides were s concerningly high even before Turkey ditched the convention.
  • However, people are concerned that now even basic rights and protections of the Turkish women will come under threat.

Back to Basics

About Istanbul Convention on Violence against Women

  • It was established by the Council of Europe.
  • It is a human rights treaty, with the aim to prevent and prosecute all forms of violence against women,.
  • It aims to promote gender equality and ensure protection and rehabilitation of women who are victims of violence.
  • It was opened for ratification in 2011 and Turkey became the first country to ratify the Istanbul convention after 34 countries signed this treaty.
  • In 2011, the treaty’s original signatories were Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, and Turkey.
  • It has been signed by all EU Member States.
Istanbul Convention
Source: World Atlas

Objectives of Istanbul Convention on Violence against Women

  • The state has a responsibility to prevent all forms of violence against women, protect those who experience it and prosecute perpetrators.
  • The state must promote equality between women and men and prevent violence against women by encouraging mutual respect or non-violent conflict resolution.
  • The state must investigate allegations of violence and prosecute perpetrators.
  • The state must ensure that victims can claim compensation from the offender and must award adequate compensation itself if it cannot be covered from other sources.
  • The state must ensure a coordinated approach among all relevant agencies, civil society organisations and other stakeholders to support those who experience violence.

Source: IE

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