A survey conducted by pollster Metropoll has revealed that 52.3 percent of Turks are against the government’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, the Council of Europe’s (CoE) binding treaty to prevent and combat violence against women, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported.
While more than a majority of participants oppose the withdrawal, 26.7 percent approve and 10.2 percent had no opinion.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued an executive decree on March 20 annulling Turkey’s ratification of the convention.
Turkey’s right-wing opposition İYİ (Good) Party has filed a submission with the Council of State requesting the cancellation of President Erdoğan’s executive decree in accordance with Articles 6, 87, 90 and 104 of the Turkish Constitution.
In his first public comments about the withdrawal, Erdoğan said the move was completely legal and that Turkey was free to make its own decisions.
“The step taken by the presidency [on the Istanbul Convention] is completely legal, and we will stay on this path. We made a decision. We can adopt [the treaty] and we can withdraw from it whenever we want,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey’s decision to withdraw from the convention was met with criticism from several countries, international organizations and rights groups.
The Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, widely known as the Istanbul Convention, was signed by 45 countries and the European Union in 2011 and requires governments to adopt legislation prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence and similar abuse as well as marital rape and female genital mutilation.
Turkey was the first member state to ratify the CoE convention, which was opened for signature in Istanbul during Turkey’s chairmanship of the organization 10 years ago.