Activists in Rome organised a protest over the Turkish president’s decision to withdraw the country from Istanbul Convention, DIRE reports.
In a protest organised in Rome last week, Kurdish, Italian and international activists denounced the Turkish government’s decision to abandon the Istanbul Convention, an agreement to prevent and combat violence against women.
In various speeches, women accused Erdoğan of “homophobia” and pointed to his oppression of LGBTI groups and women.
Visible during the protest were flags of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), photos of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK’s) jailed leader Abdullah Öcalan and photos of Fidan Dogan, Sakin Cansiz and Leyla Saylemez, the three Kurdish women politicians killed in 2013 in Paris.
‘This fight crosses borders’
Speaking to the DIRE Italian news agency during the protest, Silan Ekinci, from the Kurdish Office in Italy said, “The reason we are here is to say out loud that the Turkish government has to comply with the Istanbul Convention and take legal action, or violence against women will never stop. States must put pressure on Ankara.”
Simonetta Crisci, one of the organisers of the event, said: “President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in recent years has violated human rights and harmed democracy by exercising oppression of civil society, while attacking the Kurdish people and bombing the Kurds in Syria and Iraq. Now he has allowed himself to opt out of the Istanbul Convention.”
Crisci argued that, despite Erdoğan’s behaviour, US President Joe Biden has invited him “to search for oil in the eastern Mediterranean” and “even the EU continues business with Turkey, instead of condemning the violence.”
Activists from Non una di meno said, “This fight crosses borders, it concerns us all, and yet Italy is Turkey’s main supplier of arms.”
Forenza: Italian women also fight against Sultan Erdoğan
Italian MEP Eleonora Forenza shared her message of solidarity with the women’s struggle in Turkey during the protest
“In this fight against the Turkish Sultan Erdoğan, it is not only Turkish and Kurdish women who are fighting, there are also Italian women, thanks to solidarity and the feminist sisterhood,” Forenza said.
“The EU has given Turkey six billion euros to stop migrants,” Forenza continued, “Therefore it has blood on its hands. But we are here to tell the EU that we defend the Istanbul Convention, which is the most comprehensive instrument to defend women, and that many countries have not yet ratified it or, as in the case of Italy, have not fully implemented it.”