Turkey's top administrative court Council of State has rejected the demand for the annulment of a presidential decree that pulled the country out of the Council of Europe’s Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention.
The court ruled with three votes against two that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had the “authority” to withdraw from the convention, citing Article 104 of the Constitution, which regulates the duties and powers of the president.
The court said that the “authority” to ratify and annul international agreements did not belong to parliament, but instead the president.
After Erdoğan issued a decree annulling Turkey’s ratification of the convention on March 20, opposition parties including the Republican People's Party (CHP) and İYİ (Good) Party as well as rights groups have lodged an appeal to the Council of State.
In their petition, they said that the convention was approved by the consent of all parties in parliament in 2011 and that the constitution alone does not give the president the power to annul it.
Turkey was the first signatory state and the first state that submitted its ratification to the Istanbul Convention, subsequent to unanimous voting by parliament in 2011.
Ironically, Turkey has also become the first state that announced its withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on its 10th anniversary.