Turkish government published a presidential decree in the early hours of March 20, deciding to pull out of the Istanbul Convention to combat the violence against women. Although the AKP government was giving signs of this decision earlier and peaked the debate in August 2020, by lobbying against the Convention, the decree came as a sudden decision after midnight and sparked tension.
Hundreds of women took to the streets on Saturday afternoon, declaring the decision as an attack of the AKP government against the health and lives of the women in Turkey. Several protests were organized in different cities of the country. While Erdoğan's cabinet and pro-AKP circles celebrated the decision, the progressive organizations and opposition groups condemned the decision.
The Communist Women from the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) also called for meetings to protest the decision in 17 different cities across the country. The Communist Women declared that the women will stop this attack in the protests and made a press statement.
The full statement is as follows:
The women will stop this attack!
The anti-women actions of the AKP, which resort to decrees, various games, and hollow challenges in every crush it goes through, never end! This time, AKP withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, which it has been talking about for months, with a midnight decree!
Although it is not sufficient for the struggle to end social inequalities and violence against women, the Istanbul Convention obliges the states to protect individuals from gender-based violence and to speed up judicial processes. This is why AKP is attacking the Istanbul Convention! While law enforcement officers were sending back the women who were subjected to violence to their homes, while the courts applied "good behavior" discounts to the perpetrators of violence against women and hundreds of women were killed despite the protection orders, we could not say that the Istanbul Convention was implemented. The decision to leave the convention proved once again that the government had no intention of stopping violence against women, even for the sake of populism.
With this decision, the AKP government has shown that it does not care at all about the murders of women despite the numbers increase. The AKP government proved that it does not consider the protection of women's rights in Turkey as a state responsibility. The AKP government has declared that it will not stop attacking women, but rather increase the attacks!
We did not expect any other attitude from the AKP. We did not expect the AKP government to combat violence against women when it tries to place religious reactionism in all the institutions of society, takes a new step every day to come to terms with secularism, fills the education system with religious dogmas, and carries out a new attack every day to push women out of social life.
Now is the time to counter this attack together! It is time to respond stronger to every step taken by the AKP!
Workers, women, and youth of this country will not surrender to AKP's attacks.
An equal, free and secular country will rise in our hands!