August 3, 2021

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Turkey has officially pulled out of the Istanbul conference and cracked down on violence against women

Protesters gathered in Istanbul and Ankara to protest the decision.

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Turkey officially left the Istanbul Conference on Thursday, July 1, an international agreement aimed at combating violence against women. The decision by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan provoked protests, especially in Istanbul, where police used tear gas.

Prior to 2011, the Istanbul Conference, the first international treaty to legally standardize the prevention of gender-based violence, was ratified by 34 member states of the Council of Europe. The first state to sign it, Turkey was the first country to withdraw from it. The Turkish government has explained its intention by arguing that this is an agreement “Undermining Family Values” And “Normalizing Homosexuality”, Due to the call not to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, but the ruling conservative government continues to vary by homosexual status.

The withdrawal from the Istanbul Conference, announced by the Turkish president in March, took effect at midnight. The murders of women in Turkey have been steadily rising over the past decade, angering women’s rights organizations and critics from the European Union, Washington and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN Human Rights.

On Thursday evening, protesters gathered across the country, including in Ankara and Istanbul, to show their support for the Istanbul conference. Hundreds of people chanted in the streets in Istanbul: “We will not be silent. We are not afraid. We do not want to obey!”. The situation became tense when police blocked the walk to the famous Taksim Square, and despite repeated warnings from police, they tried to force their way in, an AFP reporter said.

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