Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, or the “Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence,” encourages a twisted mindset which fosters violence against women. This decision has irreparable consequences and will not support the state in combating violence.
Law No. 6284 and the Istanbul Convention are the most important pillars in the struggle against violence. Moving forward, every instance of violence committed by men against women will recall the absence of the Istanbul Convention.
When the question of Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention was raised last year, many different segments of society took action to defend the Convention. Regardless of one’s views, it is a humanitarian obligation to unite all political parties and parts of society in the fight against violence.
Contrary to misrepresentation, the Istanbul Convention exists to combat all forms of violence against women and to protect victims regardless of who they are. The Convention is meant to preserve human rights and should not be pretext for political debate.
It must not be forgotten that violence against women is violation of human rights, and the Istanbul Convention is an international commitment based in human rights. We regret that this decision harms Turkey’s reputation in the international community in terms of human rights.
There must be no compromises in the struggle to end violence against women.
Reconsidering this decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention and heeding the views of the public at large would be the greatest indicators of a commitment to a zero-tolerance policy in combating violence.