Turkey withdraws from the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe

Turkey is withdrawing from the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women. The decree was signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Interestingly, this convention is called the Istanbul Convention, as it was approved by the Committee of Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe, which met on May 11, 2011 in Istanbul. Turkey was the first country to ratify the convention. The Convention has not been ratified by a number of Eastern European countries, as well as the United Kingdom. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe Maria Pejcinovic-Burych expressed regret over Turkey’s withdrawal from the convention. According to her, this step will hinder the fight against domestic violence.

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The Convention obliges its signatory states to introduce separate criminal liability for a number of acts of violence against women. A special group of international experts monitors compliance with the requirements of the convention.

The Turkish government has made it clear that it considers the constitutional guarantees of women’s rights to be sufficient.

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