Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has submitted a parliamentary motion demanding an inquiry into “social and legal problems” stemming from Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, but the motion was turned down.
The Istanbul Convention is an international accord designed to protect women from domestic violence.
CHP deputy chair Gülizar Biçer Karaca wanted to address the parliament to explain the reason behind their motion. She walked to the parliamentary rostrum along with other CHP MPs and they covered the rostrum with a purple cloth. At this point, several other CHP women deputies joined Karaca and held banners in their hands.
Deputy Parliament Speaker Süreyya Sadi Bilgiç wanted the purple cloth to be lifted, and when his demand was rejected, he adjourned the session and slapped Karaca with a warning.
“This penalty is a medal of honor on behalf of all women,” Karaca said in return.
TBMM'de mor örtü açtık diye tarafıma ceza verildi!!— Gülizar Bicer Karaca (@GulizarBicer) March 23, 2021
Bu uyarı cezasını şahsım ve tüm kadınlar için bir şeref madalyası olarak kabul ediyorum.
Gidişiniz korktuğunuz; şiddete, kadın cinayetlerine hayır diyen kadınların elinden olacak. #İstanbulSözleşmesiKalacak pic.twitter.com/RSOk5zDaBk
UN urges Turkey to reverse decision on Istanbul Convention
Meanwhile, the United Nations human rights office on March 23 called on Turkey to reverse its decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention.
Liz Throssell, U.N. human rights spokeswoman, said in a press release that Turkey's move was “a significant step backwards in human rights.’’
"The decision to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention was taken without a parliamentary debate and reportedly without wider consultation with civil society, including women's groups and women rights defenders," the press release read.
"The High Commissioner has expressed her dismay at the withdrawal, which represents a significant step backwards in Turkey's efforts to advance women's rights, especially given that gender inequality and gender-based violence against women remain a serious concern in Turkish society."
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government on March 20 withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, which it signed onto in 2011 after it was forged in Turkey’s biggest city. The government claimed domestic laws, not outside fixes, would protect women’s rights.