We won’t give up on the Istanbul Convention!

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We won’t give up on the Istanbul Convention!


On 19 July 2022, Turkey’s top administrative court announced that the decision to withdraw Turkey from the Istanbul Convention with just a single sentence published in the Official Gazette, on March 20, 2021, was lawfully taken by President Erdoğan.

This is an unacceptable decision that could pave the way for Turkey to withdraw, not only from the İstanbul Convention but also from other international conventions concerning fundamental human rights to which it is a signatory. As per Turkish laws, only Parliament can terminate a law in force which was enacted and entered into force by Parliament. Further demonstrating a breakdown of the rule of law in Turkey, the President’s visit to the top administrative court and the appointment of new judges and prosecutors clearly show that this Court’s decision was influenced by political pressure and executive interference in the judicial process.

Consequent upon the one-sentence decision to withdraw Turkey from the Istanbul Convention, over 200 lawsuits were filed in the top administrative court for the cancellation of the President’s decision. These hearings were the most crowded in the history of Turkey’s top administrative court.

Since the beginning of 2022, in Turkey, 132 women have been killed by men, and 100 women have died in suspicious circumstances. The top administrative court’s decision approving the unilateral Presidential action in withdrawing from the İstanbul Convention, illustrates complete disregard of femicides and violent crimes against women and LGBTI+s individuals in Turkey.

Turkey had the distinction of being the first country to sign the Istanbul Convention, on May 11, 2011, which came about as a result of women’s fight for equality and aims to prevent and prosecute all forms of violence against women and gender-based violence including domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, forced marriages and forced abortions and sterilizations.

WLUML condemns this decision, and stands in solidarity with women’s rights activists, feminist groups and networks in Turkey as they challenge Turkey’s
withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.

Women Living Under Muslim Laws,

21st July 2022