Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has announced that it is preparing to file a lawsuit against pro-government Islamist columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak for referring to supporters of the Istanbul Convention as “prostitutes” in his column published in Yeni Akit on July 27.
AKP General Secretary Fatih Şahin said on July 31 that the party would never show any tolerance towards violence against women. “Women who built yesterday, are building today and will shape future with their efforts, self-sacrifice and struggle have a privileged place for us, beyond every kind of difference of opinion and discussion,” Şahin said.
The party’s upcoming lawsuit concerns Dilipak’s column named “AKP’s daisies,” referring to a group of people in the party who threw their support behind the Istanbul Convention — a treaty that protects women against domestic violence and discrimination.
Dilipak insulted this group within the AKP, suggesting that these members had been relying on the European Union funds and various other funds, which he called the “Green Capital.”
“Will our ‘Green Capital’ show loyalty to its cause and raise its voice against these prostitutes and their derivatives?” Dilipak said in his column.
After women across Turkey slammed Dilipak for his comments, the Islamist writer denied having used the “prostitutes” term for those who have a different opinion than him.
“I did not use such a term for those who do not think like myself. In my column I say that those who express their support for the Istanbul Convention also support prostitution. This is because this convention defends prostitution under the disguise of women’s rights,” Dilipak tweeted on July 30.
Although Turkey was the first country to ratify the Istanbul Convention in 2012, the AKP government is now considering exiting it.
On July 2, AKP deputy chair Numan Kurtulmuş said that it was “wrong” of Turkey to have ratified the convention and the government might consider withdrawing from it. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the government’s decision will be based on what “people want.”
On Aug. 5, a group of women organized under the name “Enforce Istanbul Convention Campaign” will hold a mass rally in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district to condemn Ankara’s contemplation of withdrawing from the convention.