Turkey’s opposition Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) has revealed that 27 women were killed by men in Turkey in the one month since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pulled the country out of an international treaty designed to protect women’s rights and prevent domestic violence commonly known as the Istanbul Convention.
“Since the night one man annulled [Turkey’s ratification of] the Istanbul Convention to this night, in four weeks, 27 women lost their lives and many others were subjected to violence,” the party said in a tweet on Saturday, referring to the overnight decree issued by Erdoğan on March 20.
“We don’t recognize this withdrawal that would encourage potential killers. We won’t give up on defending women’s right to life,” DEVA added.
The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, better known as the Istanbul 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 a decree that pulled the country out of the international treaty, which requires governments to adopt legislation prosecuting perpetrators of domestic violence and similar abuse as well as marital rape and female genital mutilation.
Following Erdoğan’s decision, some lawyers claimed that the treaty was still in force, arguing that the president could not withdraw from it without the approval of parliament, which unanimously ratified the convention in 2012.
Violence against women and femicide are serious problems in Turkey, with daily media coverage of the issue.
In 2020, 300 women were murdered and the rate shows no sign of slowing with 79 women killed in the first three months of 2021, according to the women’s rights group We Will Stop Femicide Platform.