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Turkey’s withdrawal from İstanbul Convention challenged at top court

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A Turkish civil society organization has taken a presidential decree that pulled Turkey out of an international treaty to combat domestic violence to the country’s highest administrative court, demanding its cancellation.

The petition at the Council of State was filed by the Women and Children First Association, which claimed that the presidential decree, issued by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan early on Saturday, was null and void.

The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, better known as the İstanbul Convention, is an international accord designed to protect women’s rights and prevent domestic violence in societies and was signed by member countries of the Council of Europe in 2011.

Erdoğan sparked outrage in Turkey and the international community after he issued the decree that withdrew Turkey from the İstanbul Convention.

“This decree is legally null and void. The Republic of Turkey cannot be taken out of an international treaty, which went into effect under the law, through a presidential decision,” said a statement made by the association.

“We will continue to defend women’s right to life. We will be here and resisting until the day when no woman is subjected to violence in Turkey,” the statement said.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has also announced that it will apply to the Council of State for the cancellation of Saturday’s presidential decree.

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