New measures against women violence in Turkey, but according to its own standards

Turkey released a plan to protect women from violence after it withdrew from the Istanbul Convention which was considered to go against Turkey’s traditional family values.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on March 4 a set of measures aimed at curbing acts of violence against women.

Last July, Turkey was the first only country to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention, a landmark European treaty on protecting women from violence it was yet the first to sign a decade ago.

According to Turkish leaders, the convention that bears the name of its largest city undermined traditional family values and tried to legitimate homosexuality. The Istanbul Convention prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.

After it withdrew from the treaty, Ergodan launched a plan for the protection of women, but it didn’t reject violence based on sexual orientation anymore.

Lesbian, bisexual and transgender women face high levels of prejudice and discrimination in Turkey and are vulnerable to forced marriage or even “corrective rape”, according to a Council of Europe country report in 2018.

On Friday, Erdogan said judicial reforms would increase prison terms when acts of “wilful killing, deliberate injury, torture and ill-treatment” are perpetrated against women. It would also raise the minimum prison term for crimes or threats against former or current spouses.

Persistent stalking would be punishable by prison and women victims of violence would be assigned lawyers for free, Erdogan said.

A total of 72 women have been killed in Turkey since the start of the year, according to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform. At least 416 women were killed in 2021, with dozens of others found dead under suspicious circumstances, according to the group.

The Turkish leader said the reforms would soon be submitted to parliament for approval.

Discover news about Turkey

GREVIO Baseline Evaluation Report Turkey, Council of Europe, 2018, Free access, PDF

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