ISTANBUL: Several thousand women took to the streets in Istanbul on Saturday to demand Turkey reverses its decision to withdraw from an international treaty against domestic abuse which it once championed.
President Tayyip Erdogan stunned European allies with last week’s announcement that Turkey was pulling out of the Istanbul Convention, named after the Turkish city where it was drafted in 2011.
Turkey was one of the first signatories and women say their safety has been jeopardised by Erdogan’s move against the European treaty.
Amid a heavy police presence, protesters gathered in an Istanbul seafront square waving purple flags and chanting slogans including “Murders of women are political”. One placard read, “Protect women, not the perpetrators of violence.” “Withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention is a disaster for millions of women and children living in this country,” Amnesty International Turkey Director Ece Unver said, calling for Ankara to reverse its decision.
World Health Organisation data shows 38 percent of women in Turkey are subject to violence from a partner in their lifetime, compared with 25pc in Europe.