On Friday, March 19, 2021, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his decision to withdraw from the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). This announcement was made in the middle of the night, without parliamentary debate, by presidential decree cancelling the commitments that this member country of the Council of Europe made by signing this Convention in 2011 and by ratifying it first in 2012 by a unanimous vote of its National Assembly.
National, European and international associations of the women’s movement, united within the Feminist Collective for the Generation Equality Forum (Beijing + 25), express their solidarity with the associations of Turkish women who fight for their lives and the protection of their fundamental rights. These associations join them in denouncing the inadmissible regression of the human rights of women as a result of Turkey’s decision to leave the most protective Treaty of the Council of Europe.
This decision is equivalent to "a license to kill" while 300 women were murdered in Turkey in 2021 and already 77 in 2021.
This is the first time in its history that Turkey has withdrawn from a human rights protection convention, in violation of its own constitution and international human rights law. There are certain risks, after Bulgaria making the Istanbul Convention unconstitutional, that other countries will follow these disastrous examples, with devastating effects on all women.
In our current times, concerted international action and commitment is more important than ever to end violence against women and girls exacerbated in times of pandemic, as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference, and the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.