Women Associations of Turkey
Turkish gov’t voices readiness to listen to views of all women’s organizations about Istanbul Convention
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said that its ready to listen to the views of all women's organizations about the Istanbul Convention, which aims to combat violence against women and from which the AKP seeks to withdraw. "We don't see a contradiction between protecting women and protecting family. We will neither abandon protecting women nor the family," AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik said.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been seeking ways to amend the Istanbul Convention via sending a letter of intention that includes its objections. Women's rights groups continue to slam the debate on the convention and requested a meeting with President Erdoğan and AKP lawmakers.
A man currently on trial in the southern city of Adana for molesting his two young children is still employed at the city's women and children's hospital as he awaits further hearings. Lawyer Sevil Aracı of the Adana Women's Platform said that her organization will not let the matter go.
A non-governmental women's platform urged the government to stop proceedings on a legal amendment that would grant amnesty to sexual predators. The platform also urged the government to not consider recusing from the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty against domestic violence and violence against children.
A newly established women's organization in the eastern province of Van has said that some 10 women have sought their help about domestic violence counselling in the last two months. STAR Women's Association has said that many women are reluctant to take official action due to lengthy and often ineffective legal procedures.
Some 215 women’s rights organizations started a campaign that urges parliament to eliminate all amnesty bills that could pardon sexual offenders of minors before they enter their summer break. Although there are currently no amnesty bills targeting this demographic, the platform of women’s organizations say that they find politicians’ comments that one will be drafted soon "concerning."
Women and Democracy Association (KADEM), of which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan Bayraktar is the deputy chair, said that the trend called "men should know their place, which aims to show men how their years-long sexism affect women, has come to a point that "harms our values."
Berfin Özek, who survived an acid attack carried out by her ex-boyfriend Ozan Çeltik last year, forgave him and withdrew her criminal complaint. Speaking about Özek's decision to forgive Çelik, Mehtap Sert, one of her lawyers and a member of İskenderun Women's Platform, said that they have been following her case since the beginning as the platform, but will no longer work with her.
Turkish women organizations serving domestic violence victims have said that their helplines have had more calls since people began staying at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus. They have called on the government officials to remind the public that domestic violence victims will be protected no matter what the current agenda of the country is.