Women protest in Ankara against withdrawal from Istanbul Convention

Hundreds of women have gathered in front of the State Council building in Ankara to protest against the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on the Protection of Women against Violence.

Hundreds of women gathered to protest in front of the State Council building in Ankara, where the legal case against Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on the Protection of Women against Violence is being heard. The women held signs with slogans such as "We will not give up the Istanbul Convention", "Equality" and "Don't touch the laws, implement them."

"We will not give up our struggle"

The general secretary of the women's platform "We will stop femicides", Fidan Ataselim, opened the rally with a speech and said: "This decision was signed by one person [Erdoğan] in disregard of any right. Only about seven percent of the population was heeded, while women and LGBTI+ are left alone. This decision is illegitimate. We will not give up our lives, our determination, our organised struggle, nor the Istanbul Convention. Of course, we will continue to follow these hearings because we want the rule of law to be respected. We will not give up our struggle for the implementation of the Convention. As women, we are fighting against the attitude that legitimizes killings and pats the perpetrators on the back."

"500 women murdered since withdrawal from the Convention"

Ayşe Banu Tuna spoke on behalf of the LGBTI+ Commission of the journalists' union TGS and said that 500 women had been murdered in the year following the withdrawal from the convention: "What we are witnessing here is the systematic murder of one gender. We are both women and journalists. Today, both women and journalism are under threat in Turkey. We don't want to have to keep reporting that our sisters are being raped, harassed, beaten and killed every day. We don't want to wake up every day with the thought that it could be our turn too. We don't want femicides to become a section, like business and politics, in the newspapers. We don't want to have to teach our young colleagues how to report on violence against women. That is why we are not giving up on the Istanbul Convention. Our struggle will continue until one day there is no more violence against women to report."

Following the rally, the women went to the courthouse.

Broad complaint against withdrawal

The lawsuit against the withdrawal from the convention ordered by presidential decree was filed by the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) Women's Council, the Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS), the Women's Platform for Equality (EŞİK), the Progressive Women's Association (IKK), the Public Employees' Trade Union Federation (KESK), the Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Livestock Trade Union (Tarım Orkam-Sen) and other associations, bar associations and personalities.