Search icon


02nd Jul 2021

Turkey officially withdraws from treaty to prevent gender-based violence but at what cost?

Melissa Carton

The decision will impact the safety of those suffering from domestics violence.

Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan has said that pulling out of the international treaty to prevent gender-based violence.

The treaty is the world’s first binding treaty to prevent and combat violence against women, known as the Istanbul Convention.

Removal of the treaty will now mean that those dealing with domestic violence will have less rights and protection.

Turkey officially withdrew from the treaty yeterday, July 1.

Turkey was the first country to sign the Council of Europe accord in 2011 and the law came into force in 2014.

Many in the country are outraged as domestic violence is one of the leading causes of death for women in Turkey with over 70 women in Turkey already dying in cases of domestic violence since the start of the year.

At least 409 were killed in 2020 due to domestic violence and it is feared that the figures could be even higher in 2021 now that the treaty has been withdrawn.

Protests against Turkey withdrawing from the international treaty have been taking place since the decision was first announced in March but it has all been to no avail.

The World Health Organization data has shown 38 per cent of women in Turkey are subject to violence from a partner in their lifetime, compared to about 25 per cent in Europe.

Turkey is currently a candidate to join the European Union but the country’s decision today to remove itself from a treaty that would protect so many of its citizens may damage their chances of being approved.

Speaking on the president’s decision Canan Gullu, president of the Federation of Turkish Women’s Associations, said;

“We will continue our struggle. Turkey is shooting itself in the foot with this decision.”

It is unclear if any other legislation will be added to replace the treaty and as it stands women in Turkey feel more vulnerable and unheard than ever.