Turkish police detain 4 women activists protesting withdrawal from Istanbul Convention

Regional office of the Presidential Communication Directorate in İzmir

Four female activists were detained on Tuesday for protesting Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe’s (CoE) binding treaty to prevent and combat violence against women, in front of the regional office of the Presidential Communication Directorate in western İzmir province, theBianet news website reported.

Gül Gök, Meryem Yıldırım, Güngör Didar Gül and İrem Nur Çelikbaş, members of the Free Young Women (ÖGK) platform and the Socialist Women’s Assemblies (SKM), were taken into custody in İzmir. The police didn’t allow the activists to give a press statement, according to the report.

In a move that attracted widespread criticism from several countries, international organizations and rights groups, Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, through a presidential decree issued by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 20.

Since then, women have taken to the streets in cities across the country calling on the government to remain in the convention.

A survey conducted by pollster Metropoll has revealed that 52.3 percent of Turks are against the government’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention.

While more than a majority of participants oppose the withdrawal, 26.7 percent approve and 10.2 percent had no opinion.

Turkey’s right-wing opposition İYİ (Good) Party has filed a submission with the Council of State requesting the cancellation of President Erdoğan’s executive decree in accordance with Articles 6, 87, 90 and 104 of the Turkish Constitution.

The Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, widely known as the Istanbul Convention, was signed by 45 countries and the European Union in 2011 and requires governments to adopt legislation prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence and similar abuse as well as marital rape and female genital mutilation.

Turkey was the first member state to ratify the CoE convention, which was opened for signature in Istanbul during Turkey’s chairmanship of the organization 10 years ago.

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