Although Turkey was the first state to ratify the Istanbul Convention in parliament in 2012, president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan decided to annul the Istanbul Convention using a presidential decree at midnight. The Convention – otherwise known as the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence – aims to prevent violence against women, provide victim protection and end the impunity of perpetrators.
Turkish state officials had argued that “the Convention undermined traditional family values” and “encouraged homosexuality in society” and in this proffered context, had justified their decision to pull out of the Convention. Women from different parts of Turkey gathered in Maltepe, Istanbul, to demonstrate their objections to the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.
Photographs of Deniz Poyraz, who was killed in the attack in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Provincial Organisation building in İzmir on 17 June, were also carried by women.
The slogan of the ‘Great Women’s Meeting’ held at the Maltepe event was: “We do not give up from the Istanbul Convention.”
As demonstrators entered the meeting area, it was reported that at some check points, police officers tried to ban LGBTI+ flags in the meeting area.