Turkish police on Thursday fired tear gas at hundreds of women protesting in İstanbul against male violence, Agence France-Presse reported.
The protesters held banners saying “We will fight till we get what we want”, “Don’t be quiet to the male violence” and urged the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to rejoin an international treaty designed to protect women.
— feminist gündem (@feministgundem) November 25, 2021
The landmark Istanbul Convention came into force in 2014 and laid the way for a Europe-wide legal framework to tackle, prevent and prosecute violence against women.
Turkey abandoned the convention after Erdoğan signed a decree to that effect in March, drawing the wrath of women campaigners.
Conservatives within the ruling party argue the treaty’s principles of gender equality undermine traditional family values.
The women marched along Istanbul’s main pedestrian street, İstiklal, to mark the Nov. 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Holding colorful banners, they chanted slogans and vowed not give up on the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention.
Femicides and violence against women are serious problems in Turkey, where women get killed, raped or beaten every day. Many critics say the main reason behind the situation is the policies of the Erdoğan government, which protects violent and abusive men by granting them impunity.
The advocacy group, We Will Stop Femicide, says 353 women have been murdered so far in Turkey in 2021, and 409 were killed last year. In October, 18 women were killed by men and 19 others were found dead under suspicious circumstances, according to the group.
Women campaigners told AFP women feel more vulnerable and legally unprotected since Turkey withdrew from the convention.