Protests over Turkey’s withdrawal from women’s treaty

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Istanbul on Saturday after Turkey pulled out of an international agreement designed to protect women from domestic violence. The move has sparked outrage both in Turkey and around the world.

Demonstrators voiced their anger at the U-turn by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after originally Turkey ratified the treaty in 2011.

Among those calling for President Erdogan to reconsider the move was Okyanus Curebal.

„I don’t want to die,” she said. “In 2017, I lost a childhood friend, 17 year-old Helin Palandoken, killed by her ex-boyfriend. I’m as angry now as I was at the time. Five months ago, a friend’s mother was killed by her ex. I’m as angry now as I was at the time. Long live the Istanbul Convention.“

Another protester, Ozum Buzoglu, explained why she was there.

“We live in a country that still doesn’t believe in equality between men and women. I think they are afraid of women, and of women being the equals of men and that’s why they withdrew.“

The Istanbul agreement was signed in May 2011 by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to try to stop the killing of women and girls but, in recent years, cases have surged. But the convention has split Mr Erdogan’s ruling party.

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