© Università degli Studi di Padova - Credits: HCE Web agency
On Saturday, 20 March 2021, Turkey announced its withdrawal from the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), which is a binding human rights instrument ratified by the Turkish government in 2012.
Many international bodies, including the Council of Europe, UN Women, the UN Office of the High Commissioner, and the United Nations, have expressed their deep concerns about the decision of the President of Turkey to terminate the country's participation in the Istanbul Convention. The decision was taken without a parliamentary debate and reportedly without wider consultation with civil society, including women's groups and women rights defenders.
According to the OHCHR, “the withdrawal represents a significant step backwards in Turkey's efforts to advance women's rights, especially given that gender inequality and gender-based violence against women remain a serious concern in Turkish society.” The move may hinder progress towards further strengthening of national legislative, policy and institutional frameworks.
Turkey is called to reverse its withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.