"The palace cannot decide on our lives"

For women, men are as deadly as the coronavirus. Commenting on Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, activist Nupelda Çelik says: "The palace cannot decide on women's right to life."

Nupelda Çelik is an activist of the Women's Liberation Initiative in Ankara and has spoken to ANF about the government's policy on women in Turkey. She points out that women are being pushed back into the domestic space under the pretext of fighting the pandemic, yet they continue to struggle. The government wants to install an "Ankara Agreement" in place of the annulled Istanbul Convention, Nupelda Çelik notes in this regard that the fundamental difference between the two agreements is Sharia law.

The last mass gathering of women was on March 8, 2020, when the term pandemic was almost unknown, the women's rights activist says and continues: "The time after that was the necessary ingredient for the government of the male state for its plans to lock women in the house and take away our economic freedom. For women, however, men are as deadly as the coronavirus, so they have continued their struggle and let the government's plans fall flat on their face. For their sisters, who are murdered daily and suffer psychological, economic, physical, emotional and sexual violence, who are locked up in the home and condemned to poverty, women have continued to occupy the streets and social media."

Commenting on the state's policy of attack against women's institutions and achievements, Nupelda Çelik says: "In 2020, the male state tried to block women's institutions and make them inoperable. The Rosa Women's Association in Diyarbakir (ku. Amed] board members and female employees were detained and jailed. Because the women were not intimidated by this as they had wished, the procedure was repeated in April 2021. Earlier this week, apartments were again stormed and women were arrested who wanted to meet and advocate for the Istanbul Convention."

Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention in a night action just before Newroz, Nupelda Çelik continues, "The palace cannot determine the achievements and the right to life of women. The essential difference between the international Istanbul Convention and the planned national Ankara Agreement is the deletion of LGBTI rights and their replacement with Sharia laws."

Nupelda Çelik emphasizes that women will not give up their right to self-determination over their lives and bodies, "Women will not give up their rights and the Istanbul Convention. The convention is ours, we will be breathing down their opponents' necks until the provisions of this agreement are implemented."