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S&Ds appalled by the Turkish government’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention


22 Mar 2021


Global Europe

Socialists and Democrats strongly condemn Turkey’s decision to abandon the Istanbul Convention, a landmark treaty that was signed by 45 countries and the European Union to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence.

We express our solidarity with thousands of Turkish women who took to the streets to demand President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to retract his deplorable move.

S&D MEP Evelyn Regner, chair of the committee on women’s rights and gender equality, said:

“Withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention is another attack on democracy by Erdoğan. The Convention is about protecting women from violence. Every woman must have the right to live safely and freely.

“The current backlash against women’s rights and equality is an orchestrated attack on the rule of law. Not only in Turkey, but also in Poland and Hungary, the Istanbul Convention is causing great unease among the macho men in power. In the EU Parliament, we oppose this anti-human policy and demand consequences. Turkey’s decision must be clearly condemned by the heads of government at the EU Summit this Thursday.”

Nacho Sánchez Amor, S&D MEP and EP rapporteur on Turkey, added:

“We are appalled by the Turkish government’s decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention. This withdrawal fulfils one of the worst political promises made by the current leadership in pursuing an ultra-conservative agenda, which is bringing Turkey even further from the EU and the EU’s international standards. It makes up part of a very worrying trend of actions in recent times in the field of human rights and rule of law that require a serious assessment from the EU’s side.

“We find no logic in this regrettable move, as the text of the Convention is exactly the same as the one that Turkey’s government signed and ratified, proudly claiming to be the first country in doing so! Values, which are enshrined in Turkey’s constitution, are not open for partisan reinterpretation.”