Woman’s murder prompts calls to implement İstanbul Convention, already under threat of withdrawal by Turkey: report

The murder of a 27-year-old woman by her ex-lover sparked outrage on Turkish social media on Tuesday, prompting a strong call for implementing the İstanbul Convention, an international agreement signed by member countries of the Council of Europe in 2011 to promote women’s rights and prevent domestic violence in societies, the Turkish Minute reported.

The body of Pınar Gültekin, a university student who had been missing for five days in Turkey’s southwestern Muğla province, was found in a barrel clumsily buried in the yard of a ranch owned by Cemal Metin Avcı, the ex-lover, according to the Demirören news agency.

According to Avcı’s statement, they had an extramarital affair but broke up a while ago. On the day she went missing, they had gone to Avcı’s ranch to discuss the situation; however, Avcı, a married man, killed her after a heated argument.

He confessed that he wanted to get rid of the body by burning it, but unable to do that, put her in a barrel and tried to bury it in the yard.

The gruesome murder took place as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is considering withdrawing from the İstanbul Convention.

After signing it Turkey added Article 6284 to its Civil Law, which defines the rights of women who feel threatened in their homes.

Pro-government columnists argue that Article 6284’s definition of violence is too broad and that it has invited the state into the domestic sphere.

The article has shortened the path to obtaining a restraining order against husbands, a move that is strongly criticized by conservatives as breaking the family apart.

On Tuesday opposition leaders Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Meral Akşener called on the government to fully implement the convention.

“How many women must we lose until the full implementation of the İstanbul Convention,” İYİ (Good) Party leader Akşener tweeted from her official account.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu today spoke to his party’s group meeting at the Turkish parliament.

“Give up the attempts to withdraw from the İstanbul Convention,” he said, addressing the government.

The Twitter hashtag #İstanbulSözleşmesiYaşatır (The İstanbul Convention lets women live) became a trending topic after the news regarding the murder of Gültekin surfaced early in the morning.

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